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SS United States Conservancy executive director update

    • SS United States' telephone switchboards, still aboard vessel, years after her final crossing. Photo credit: Steve Ujifusa
      SS United States' telephone switchboards, still aboard vessel, years after her final crossing. Photo credit: Steve Ujifusa

Dear SS United States Conservancy Members and Supporters:  
 
As we enter our "make or break year," we are working harder than ever to assure that the SS United States endures as a vibrant and inspirational symbol as well as a job-creating economic catalyst in an urban waterfront setting.
 
We have begun to tally the preliminary results of our Annual Appeal, and we are incredibly grateful for your continuing support and goodwill.  Beyond your crucial financial contributions, many of you took the time to share why the SS United States inspires you.  We will be disseminating these reflections in various outreach materials as we build up to our summer celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the SS United States' maiden voyage, but I wanted to share some of these sentiments with you now.  In the words of Kyle Sund from San Fransisco, "In a text message and war-weary world, it is important to look at what was and remember that our history is important.  The technological advances of our predecessors enabled the life we enjoy today."
 
Douglas Hoefle from Wilmington Delaware wrote that the SS United States "represents the absolute pinnacle of transatlantic ocean travel" and "deserves to be preserved and maintained for future generations as a reminder of mid-20th century life and as an example of what Americans can achieve."
 
Many shared personal encounters with the ship: Tony Straiges explained that he was in active duty in the Naval Reserve in the spring of 1952 and he was able to tour the newly minted SS United States from "stem to stern... Never at the age of 22 had I experienced the sight of such a beautiful liner. I will recall that day for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, by the time I could finally sail as passenger liner/cruise ship, she had been laid up.  I only hope that I might walk her decks again, as a museum ship."

According to Greg Pastore from Philadelphia, the SS United States "is a cultural artifact, a work of art, a machine, a past way of life and an expression of national will.  Its very existence represents an appreciation for what man has done."
 
Thank you so much for sharing your reflections with us, and please keep them coming!
 
Susan Gibbs
Executive Director



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