This past weekend the America was christened at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Jackson County. It is the first in a series of amphibious assault ships to be built at the shipyard. Shipbuilding has long been a part of Jackson County's history. Yet there are no maritime museums that show off this proud history.
However, that may change if organizers of the Mississippi Maritime and Warship Museum are successful. No doubt the museum they want to create would be a huge tourist draw. Think of the thousands of sailors spread out across the country who have served on one of the many ships Ingalls has built.
The museum group also hopes to bring the first Aegis Cruiser built at Ingalls back to the coast. The USS Ticonderoga would be the center piece of the new museum. The cost to bring the ship here is estimated at $30 million. However for this to happen the coast has to get behind this project.
The group has a building in Pascagoula that it hopes will serve as the museum. But organizers are going to need volunteers and donations to make this work.
In Pensacola there is the National Naval Aviation Museum, in Mobile there is the Battleship Park. Hopefully we too will soon a maritime museum to lure tourists to South Mississippi.
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WLOX-TV General Manager
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