A combination of four Capitol area exhibits and memorials will provide a comprehensive perspective on the first hundred years of the U.S. Submarine Force. The four projects will serve as lasting memorials to submarines and submariners past and present, while the cap_ability of the submarine and its promise for the future will be presented for all to see. No single exhibit or memorial could possibly cover in detail all of the accomplishments and potential of the Submarine Force. However, this carefully coordinated combination goes a long way toward recognizing the achievements of all submariners of the 20th century and commemorating all aspects of the first hundred years of the U.S. Submarine Force. These National Committee activities will be complemented by numerous other commemorative projects at submarine museums and other locations throughout the country. Centennial projects at some of these other locations will be featured in the next issue of the REVIEW. Editor’s Note: In the January issue we will feature other museum and memorial initiatives from around the country. Please provide candidate input for this article to Rick Dau at NSL Headquarters.
The four national activities include a major exhibit at the Smithsonian, a submarine heroes exhibit and a stained glass and bronze memorial window at the Navy Memorial, an expanded submarine exhibit at the Navy Museum in the Washington Navy Yard, and a submarine sculpture to be prominently located at the U.S. Naval Academy.
The Smithsonian exhibit, Fast .Attacks and Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War, was described in detail in the July issue of THE SUBMARINE REVIEW. This exhibit will focus on the modem submarine technology that won the Cold War and that has paved the way for the multi-mission submarines such as SEAWOLF and VIRGINIA, which will lead us into the 21″ century. The location of this three year exhibit will provide exposure to millions of visitors and will help spread our message throughout the country while providing an introduction to the submarine Navy for hundreds of thousands of young people.
The heroes exhibit at the Navy Memorial will highlight those individuals who have distinguished themselves in submarines as well as the everyday submariner. The memorial window will recognize, in permanent memorial, the sacrifice of all submariners who have given their lives in the line of duty.
The exhibit at the Navy Museum, located in the historic Washington Navy Yard, will highlight submarines in the first half of the 20″ century including the exceptional achievements and sacrifices of submariners in helping to win World War II. It will be expanded by 800 square feet to cover the transition of the Submarine Force from World War II to the Cold War.
Finally, the sculpture at the Naval Academy will serve as a lasting reminder of the importance of submarines to Naval Warfare. The sculpture will be viewed on a daily basis by the many visitors who frequent the academy grounds as well as the Midshipmen who will be future Submarine Force leaders.
The Centennial’s National Commemorative Committee, including representatives from the Naval Submarine League, U.S. Submarine Veterans Incorporated, and U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II, is supporting the Submarine Force in the development and funding of these important centennial projects. Each project is unique and the themes and content are the result of extensive negotiation with the hosting activities. We are truly fortunate to have the Submarine Story displayed for all to see in four premier locations.