Monday, September 22, 2014

USS Alabama Charter Member: "Good for FREE Admission"

Sunday, September 13, 2014, marked 50 years since the battleship USS Alabama's arrived in Mobile Bay. That World War II ship is the fifth to be named after the state. Decommissioned in 1947, the Alabama and three sister ships were scheduled to be scrapped in 1962. In September 1963 the state established a committee to save the vessel and by spring 1964 over $800,000 had been raised to tow the ship to Mobile from Bremerton, Washington, refurbish it and create the park. That final voyage took almost three months. 

Today the USS Alabama and the country's oldest submarine and first opened to the public, the USS Drum, make up a memorial park that's a great place to visit and learn something about the service of so many Alabamians in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some years ago my brother and I took my son and his older son to explore the labyrinthine interiors of both ships and wonder how men could actually live and work in such close quarters. 

Over a million school children in Alabama contributed about $100,000 in small change during that fund raising campaign in the 1963-64 school year. We received the card below in return for those donations, and I recently rediscovered mine. Perhaps I can use it soon and revisit the park. Each year over 50 of these passes are redeemed.

No comments:

Post a Comment