With Coast Guard Cutter Eagle dressed overall as a backdrop, notables including Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp, broke the ground for construction of the future National Coast Guard Museum.
Connecticut Rep. Joe Courtney, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Chris Murphy, City of New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio, Vice President of Cross Sound Ferry Adam Wronowski, Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp dip their shovels into the soil, signifying the beginning of what will be a tremendous physical transformation to the New London waterfront area, where the future National Coast Guard Museum will be built (See photograph).
“Today marks yet another important milestone in our continuing progress towards establishing a National Coast Guard Museum,” said the Commandant. “I am very thankful for the efforts of everyone involved to honor our Long Blue Line of Coast Guard men and women who sacrificed during war and peace since the founding of our Republic to protect and defend the United States of America.”
The land for the construction was gifted to the Coast Guard by the city of New London. Mayor Finizio passed the signed document to the Commandant adding “it is my honor to present to you the deed and title of land in our city for the purpose of construction of the National United States Coast Guard Museum.”
The National Coast Guard Museum Association was formed to: “Establish, develop, foster and perpetuate the National Coast Guard Museum which will serve to promote historical knowledge of the Coast Guard and its predecessor services among the present and past member of the service and among the general public, and to promote an awareness, recognition and pride the their role in the maritime heritage of the United States.”
President of the board of directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association and recent Spirit of Hope recipient James “Jimmy” Coleman Jr. affirmed his loyalty to the collaborative effort: “We are ready to go, and we have been ready to go; so we’re using that energy.”