Home / Robert Farley / Memorial Day!

Memorial Day!


Happy Memorial Day from all of us to all of you. Celebrate with the beer and the baseball and the what not, but do give a thought to those who have served and died, whether for the United States or elsewhere. Also see this; while I can’t concur fully with the presentation, I think it would be a shame to dispose of an artifact like USS Olympia. I think that we probably memorialize too many ships (we don’t need to save all four Iowas, for example), but the Olympia is the last of her kind. Unfortunately, I failed to see her on my last trip to Philly, but I’ll probably have to go if plans on scuttling her move forward.

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  • Bobby Flashpants

    Semi-related question – do you think that the relative glut of WWII-era ships preserved as museums is a response to the failed effort to preserve the most deserving WWII ship, the CV-6 Enterprise? If a truly significant antique like the Olympia gets scuttled, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more go the same way, especially as the WWII generation continues to die off. I’m happy that the BB-55 North Carolina is probably going in for dry-docking soon. A visit there when I was 8 or 9 started a life-long interest in battleships (which in turn led me to this blog).

    • Robert Farley

      The word is that Yorktown is not long for this world, as she’s in an advanced state of disrepair. Perhaps more disconcerting is the situation of USS Texas; apparently she’s in severe need of drydocking, but the engineers believe that there’s a serious chance of sinking en route.

  • Anderson

    Yes, my first reaction to the post was to suggest drinking a beer today in memory of the Enterprise and of the sailors and pilots who died serving on her. What the Japanese tried and failed to do, Eisenhower accomplished.

  • NBarnes

    I die inside a little every time I think about CV-6 not being preserved. In a just world, she’s still commissioned and the Navy operates her as the carrier fleet’s honorary flagship and floating recruitment center.

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  • Tom M

    I’ve visited the Olympia several times. It’s a wonderful artifact of the Spanish-American war and a real treat to walk inside. The Constitution is also a fine exhibit as are so many of the mementos of our past.
    Cash, however, is the king and if the money can’t be raised privately then what are the chances for a move by the Congress? I won’t count on it.

  • Scott de B.

    I have a fondness for pre-dreadnoughts, and the Olympia is definitely a nice visit. We have the Constitution; I don’t see why we can’t keep the Olympia. Two 19th-century ships: is that too much to ask?

  • Mudge

    BP should immediately write a check for $20M to fund the repairs.

    And yes the Iowa sits at Suisun Bay waiting for a sponsor, as did the Des Moines in Philadelphia for ages(what’s with Iowa named ships). The Missouri and New Jersey already are museums, I’m not sure the Iowa would add much.

    Naval history will, I fear, become a history recorded in reefs (the Oriskany), naval target exercises (the carrier America) and scrapping yards.

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