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Ceremony at Battleship NJ Marks 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

By Mike DeNardo

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Veterans gathered this morning at the Battleship New Jersey to commemorate the 70th anniversary, this Wednesday, of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

A 21-gun salute punctuated the solemn memorial in honor of the lives lost at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941.


Story continues below photo…

andrewswreath Ceremony at Battleship NJ Marks 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

(Rep. Rob Andrews throws a wreath into the Delaware River. Credit: Mike DeNardo)


Today’s ceremony was organized by US Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ).

“What this is really about is to remember the bravery and the example that these men and women set,” he said today.

Walter Straus of Sicklerville, Pa., now 92, was stationed at Pearl Harbor shortly after the attack that killed nearly 2,400 Americans.  He recalls seeing the oil and bubbles from the sunken battleship Arizona.

“The cost was, in lives and in injuries that people carry to this day, is beyond comprehension,” Straus told KYW Newsradio this morning.

Rep. Andrews says the sacrifice at Pearl Harbor symbolizes the sacrifice of every veteran who has ever served.


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  • Christopher von Zwehl

    Big J, the NJ Job Machine…
    The Battleship New Jersey, a ship launched a year to the day on the attack on Pearl Harbor. Not by coincidence, but to provide a beacon of hope and strength for a nation feeling down, vulnerable and defeated. She is soon to be underway for one final, successful mission. To come alive in her rightful place in history next to none other than Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, and create hundreds of jobs in the process just when New Jersey needs them most. Thanks to Governor Christie, like “Rosie the Riveter” and “Uncle Sam Wants You” posters of President Roosevelt’s job creation, post-depression yesteryear’s, the Battleship New Jersey will once again become that beacon, a symbol of prosperity and fortitude to inspire millions of New Jerseyan’s and America with the “Yes We Can” spirit that first made this country a superpower some 70 years ago. Freedom is not free and the New Jersey, whose motto is Firepower for Freedom, will stand guard over the new Freedom Tower across New York Harbor with all her power and might to bear. This great Nation and Garden State will be charged by her presence with the world’s eyes constantly upon her, a world showcase. Children born in a post- 9/11 world will come see not just a ship but a symbol that “We Are The World’s Greatest Economy And Superpower.” Operation Liberty is underway with the same experienced team that successfully got the New Jersey back to her namesake state in the first place. Politics aside, with Big J’s and New Jersey’s needs first and foremost; we will once again rise above the fray with Jersey Pride and put the nation’s greatest ship ahead of any single man or entities’ ambition. President Ronald Reagan summed-it up so eloquently on December 28, 1982 when he re-commissioned The Battleship New Jersey and quoted, “She’s grey, she’s had her face lifted, she is still in the prime of her life, the Gallant Lady, the New Jersey.” He continued, “Putting this great ship back to work… mark’s the resurgence of our nation’s strength…” When Reagan kicked-off his presidential election September 1, 1980 from Liberty State Park when unemployment was 18% he additionally said “They (immigrants) came to make America work.” We, as the old/ new USS New Jersey Battleship Foundation and Liberty Alliance are back to work and well on our way to achieving that goal, and doing it we will, as we have done before. With over 5 million yearly visitors to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Liberty State Park and over 2 million estimated to visit the USS Intrepid next year (of the 50 million plus NYC visitors in 2012, of which 10 million will come from out of the Country), the New Jersey, as an education and innovation center, connected by existing ferries, will be the most visited and successful tourist venture ever in the Garden State’s history. We will generate a minimum of $35-37 million in revenue and create 145-150 full-time jobs, 55-65 part-time jobs, 150+ construction jobs and another 150-200 full and part-time other jobs through vendors, service providers, caterers and the like without a dime of State aid! We will generate millions of dollars for the State Treasury and Parks Department (more jobs!). The Liberty Science Center’s attendance will significantly jump as well (more jobs!). We will immediately build-up a multi-million dollar endowment to guarantee the Ship’s (and her employees) perpetual health. When I directed this whole project on a daily basis over a decade ago with a coalition of over five hundred organizations, government bodies and the direct backing of almost 100,000 New Jerseyan’s like you, the outpouring of support, financial and otherwise, was beyond our imagination. We hope to re-ignite that spirit in you once again as what you once believed in and supported so dearly is about to finally come true. As the New Jersey has spent the last decade herself in Philadelphia’s shadows with over $42 million of taxpayer and DRPA toll monies spent to keep her open (with only five employees left!), the time is finally upon us to get people back to work without taxpayer dollars and move our icon of hope, Battleship New Jersey to a place where some 100 years ago our relatives passed by and through to find jobs in a land of opportunity.
    Christopher von Zwehl
    Board President, USS New Jersey Battleship Foundation, Middletown, NJ
    Commissioner, USS New Jersey Battleship Commission, 1995-1996
    Acting Executive Director, Battleship New Jersey Foundation, 1996-1999

  • Rep. Andrews Says He’ll Open Books For Election Spending Probe « CBS Philly

    […] baseless,” Andrews reiterated today at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Battleship New Jersey (see related story).  “We’ve always followed every law in every respect, and that’s what the […]

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