Sound Off: Ship of Hope

Letters to the Editor
Northeast Magazine, Hartford Courant
January 26, 2003

 

Northeast paints a bleak picture for Bridgeport ("Scenes from a Scandal," Jan. 5). But not all is bleak for the beleaguered port city.

Case in point: A group of ex-sailors is working overtime to bring the former icebreaker Glacier to Bridgeport from California. They hope to convert the vessel, now surplus government property, into a museum and educational research ship. If they succeed, the Glacier will become a museum of polar research and exploration.

For those who know little of our country's leading role in arctic and antarctic exploration, the Glacier was Admiral Robert Byrd's last command, directing our nation's activities in Antarctica. It is America's oldest salt-water icebreaker and served both the Navy and Coast Guard.

Other nations have saved great ice ships. The Norwegians have Dr. Fridtjof Nansen's Fram and Roald Amundsen's Gjoa. The British have preserved Scott and Shackleton's Discovery. The Canadians have the schooner St. Roch and the Russians the 1917 icebreaker Krassin. Only America, out of the great polar exploring nations, has done little to save the ships that once held the public's attention.

The Glacier Society would like to correct the omission. They want to bring the Glacier to Connecticut. They follow in the wake of the preservationists who brought the whaler Charles W. Morgan to Mystic Seaport. Our nation's polar heritage is worth saving. The Glacier deserves our support.

Steve Lindsey, Keene, N.H.

Editor's note: For information on the Glacier project, visit www.glaciersociety.org.

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