Wednesday’s inaugural gathering of the Maritime Historical Preservation Series, presented by the Bethlehem Shipyard Museum and the California Heritage Council, aimed to get history lovers and veterans involved in the creation of an actual museum. Right now, it’s a collection of artifacts displayed at pop-up venues, explained executive director Dennis Koller. Proponents are hoping that morphs into a mobile museum for display at middle schools, boys’ and girls’ clubs, and other institutions. (A stationary museum would complete that wish list, but for now, the mobile one is the immediate goal.)
The Sullivans’ family motto was “We stick together”; they’d insisted on serving on the same ship. The destroyer named after them had those words emblazoned on its smokestack – hence the name of this event, honoring and remembering their sacrifice. The story is oft-told, but it packs a wallop still, and I noticed a few people in the room, veterans and non-veterans, dabbing at the corners of their eyes.