Sea History 149 - Winter 2014-2015

Page 10

NMHS: A CAUSE IN MOTION 10th Maritime Heritage Conference


here is no substitute for the exchange of ideas among colleagues, the opportunity to hear about projects, successes and challenges of others in the many areas and disciplines that comprise our maritime heritage. Hundreds of boat builders, scholars, archaeologists, professors, writers, artists and personnel from lighthouses, museums, historic ships, sail training ships, navy ships, historic reproduction projects and other maritime organizations came together at the lO'h Maritime Heritage Conference hosted by Nauticus in Norfolk, Virginia. Dr. David Winkler, Naval Historical Foundation, organized hundreds of speakers and sessions into 4 days of an excellent, thought-provoking and informative program. Dr. Raymond Ashley was presented with the Maritime Heritage Conference Award of Distinction. As President/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Dr. Ashley has grown a museum about historic ships, all aboard ships. The entire museum is afloat. He is building a reproduction of Juan Cabrillo's San Salvador, the ship that

stopped in San Diego on 28 September 1542 and stayed for 6 days. In his keynote presentation Dr. Ashley challenged us to look at the world we live in now as not inevitable and to understand how iconic ships help shape a significant message about our history that can influence the understanding and experience of our youth. Steve White accepted the Maritime Heritage Conference Award of Distinction for Mystic Seaport for the restoration and 38'h voyage of the last wooden whaler, Charles W Mo rgan. This is one of the great successes for our maritime heritage, and Mr. White's enthusiasm for the project was contagious. He was also awarded the first Maritime Heritage Conference Leadership Award for spearheading this project. Admiral Robert]. Papp, Jr. , USCG (Ret.), immediate past commandant of the Coast G uard, was presented the Maritime Heritage Conference Award of Distinction for his dedication to teaching the history of the Coast Guard and his leadership in building a National Coast Guard Museum. Noted author and founder of the National Un-

(l-r) Channing Zucker, Howard Slotnick, Carol Vinall, jean Wort, Captain Cesare Sario, Burchenal Green, Dr. William Dudley, Philip Webster, Margherita Sario, Irmy Webster, Bob Kamm, Ronald Oswald, and Nancy Schnaars at the NMHS booth.


derwater & Marine Agency, Clive Cussler, presented the award. Admiral Papp spoke of why it is crucial to remember and record the stories of those serving in the Coast Guard and reco unted great stories of everyday people serving with extraordinary courage. C live Cussler had broken his leg but, hearty mariner that he is, got up from his wheelchair to regale the maritime community with tales of his underwater expeditions with NUMA and the kinds of adventures that he and his crew experienced in searching for some of our great shipwrecks. No wonder his fictional protagonist, Dirk Pitt, leads such an exciting life. He was bombarded by questions and standing ovations, a testament to how evident it is that so many members of this community, knowledgeable about life at sea, are great fans. Participants toured the Battleship Wisconsin, the Nauticus Museum, the Mariners' Museum and the many maritime attractions around Norfolk. Dr. Timothy Runyan, ch airman of the conference organizer National Maritime Alliance, urged members to write their congressional representatives in support of the "Ships to be Recycled in the States" (STORIS) Act, which amends the National Maritime Heritage Act to secure funding for its maritime heritage grant program. This grant program is critical to the maritime heritage community of over 1,000 small non-profit organizations in more than 40 states. A link to more information can be found on the homepage of It was humbling to be at the presentation by the Naval Historical Foundation of their Commodore Dudley W Knox Naval History LifetimeAchievementAward winners and hear Craig L. Symonds, William S. Dudley, Harold D. Langley, and John B. Hattendorf accept the medals, knowing what incredible contributions each has given to our understanding ofour American maritime and naval past.

-Burchenal Green, President


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