Governor Bob Ray,
Governor Terry Branstad,
Governor Tom Vilsack
Honorary Chairmen, State of Iowa
July 2, 2008
Dear Fellow Iowan:
Sixty three years ago, the greatest human conflict in history came to an end, and though the ceremony to conclude World War II was to have occurred on her decks, she became known as the communications ship which told the world that peace had been accomplished. She is our namesake, the battleship U.S.S. Iowa.
U.S.S. Iowa was built when a generation of Americans, including many Iowans, united in an enormous mission-to stop those from destroying freedom for virtually everyone in the world. Completed in 1943 at a cost of $120 million, U.S.S. Iowa served our nation over five decades in every major deployment of our armed services. Native Iowans Mrs. Henry Wallace christened the ship and Captain John McCrea was its first commanding officer.
Our Hawkeye State and the U.S.S. Iowa share the same motto, "Our Liberties We Prize and our Rights We Will Maintain". An eighteen-foot long scale model of the battleship is on display outside current Governor Chet Culvert's office, where it has been seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors. Our State followed the tradition of creating a set of silverware for the ship and in 1896 appropriated $5,000 to create a 32-piece service set (for the first U.S.S. Iowa) which is now on display at the Iowa Historical Society.
As Honorary Chairmen for the $20 million campaign to preserve the U.S.S. Iowa, we are proud to be apart of its making into a major educational attraction. Please read the materials explaining the project, then join this cause by contributing generously to Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square, the non-profit organization declared by the United States Navy as the sole remaining viable bid for saving U.S.S. Iowa as a museum and memorial.
U.S.S. Iowa is an important piece of history. Help make the priceless educational benefits of this national treasure and great source of pride to the State of Iowa available to future generations.
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