Letter: Portland should have a museum ship

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Regarding Steve Bunkers comments about the USS JFK, it’s not true that all museum ships are rusting into the seabed. I have been a volunteer on the USS Salem, a 720-foot steel World War II museum ship near Boston for over 10 years and am quite aware of the difficulties involved. The USS Salem is not funded by any outside aid, runs its own programs to raise money, and is completely self-sustaining. Yes, there is a lot of work. Motivated volunteers who don’t quit at overcoming difficulties do the work. We manage to jump the hurdles and have continued to do so for 17 years. London has the Belknap, a steel ship which is doing well, as does Fall River with the USS Massachusetts.

Apparently, Portland is unable to raise enough motivated people, to maintain a museum ship. Why not? Portland is a seaport. Boston, Fall River and London are able to sustain museum ships. Shame on Portland and its City Council for not at least pursuing options for obtaining a different smaller ship . As a seaport, why doesn’t Portland have a museum ship?

Jeffrey Gilman
Salem, N.H.