Do we really value our history? The CNO is putting a big push on the Battle of Midway - and that is outstanding and right.
Well - there are other things as well that we need to keep a focus on.
If history isn't enough - how about politics? We often talk about the need to "get some shipyard work." Well Congress; matching funds?
It will be a great shame if the Japanese MIKASA, which was saved by the USA post-WWII, is still around yet the USS OLYMPIA is gone.
Wouldn't she be a great thing to have at the Washington Navy yard?
Where is our Navy's leadership? Where is the Navy History and Heritage Command?
The USS Olympia was the Navy's state-of-the-art flagship, a source of pride for a country flexing its muscles.Can we bring her home?
More than a century later, this last surviving vessel of the Spanish-American War fleet and longtime Penn's Landing attraction is looking for a new home and benefactor with deep pockets.
Its owner, the Independence Seaport Museum, can no longer afford the upkeep and it told the Navy it "will relinquish its stewardship of this national naval treasure and its valuable artifact collections," said Peter McCausland, chairman of the museum's Board of Port Wardens.
The museum seeks an owner who can pay up to $30 million to tow, restore, interpret, and endow the bedraggled-looking vessel.
Small portions of the Olympia's half-inch steel hull along the water line have corroded to the point that only an eighth of an inch of thickness is left.
The hull must be continually monitored and is often patched, even as water leaks through parts of the deck into the interior, causing further rust.
"We don't like to see the ship go, but you don't want to sink the entire museum because of the cost of maintaining" the Olympia, said the Independence Seaport's interim president, James McLane. "The museum is very financially sound, but if you put a drag on it, that puts it at risk over the next several years."
For more than 13 years, the museum has been "a good steward" of the Olympia, McCausland said. "We've spent $5.3 million on her. We love her."
But efforts to find funding from private donors and the city, state, and federal governments have failed, he said. The attraction will close in September.
"She's not in imminent danger of sinking, but not far away from sinking," McCausland said. "We could have a situation develop and then proceed downhill quite rapidly."
An additional $20 million would be needed for interpretation to turn it into a first-class tourist attraction and for an endowment to pay for its future needs, museum officials said.
Unfortunately, a feasibility study showed that the museum would be unable to meet those funding needs in this economic climate, officials said.
"If we don't have the resources to take care of the vessel, then someone who does will be better for her," Lebovics said.
Finding an owner "willing and able to preserve and repair" the Olympia is the museum's responsibility, said Glen Clark, deputy program manager for the Navy's Inactive Ships Program in Washington. "The Navy does not own the ship."
But the military has been "concerned about the condition" of the Olympia and it sent a letter to the museum in May asking for plans for drydocking, Clark said. "It's a national historic landmark."