Letter urges group to help keep Battleship Texas here
July 18, 2008
Houston, TX- Congressman Gene Green (D-Houston) sent a letter to Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground today urging the group to join in a community effort to preserve the Battleship Texas and keep it in San Jacinto State Park. The Friends have proposed moving the Texas to Galveston.
“The Texas has been at the San Jacinto Battleground for 60 years, where it has become a permanent part of Houston’s heritage,” Green said. “She attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year. It would be a shame to lose her.”
Green has worked to secure $1.5 million in federal funding to preserve the Texas, the oldest remaining dreadnought battleship and the second oldest battleship of any type. Last November Texas voters approved $25 million to put the Texas in dry dock, where it could be better preserved. Without the permanent dry-dock, Green said, the Battleship Texas Foundation will be forced to find money to repair and restore the battleship every 15-20 years.
In the letter Green said his office has worked with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Battleship Texas Foundation, and the Texas Legislature for several years in order to permanently dock the Texas in its current location. “Preserving the Battleship Texas and keeping it permanently anchored in its current location along the Buffalo Bayou should be a priority for all those in our community,” Green wrote.
Green also thanked Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground for its work to promote public awareness of the Battle of San Jacinto and the Texas Revolution.
The Texas, commissioned in 1914, is the only surviving battleship to have served in both World War I and World War II. In 1948 it was decommissioned and moved to San Jacinto Battleground Park, becoming the nation’s first memorial battleship. In 1983 the Texas was placed under the stewardship of the Texas Parks and Wildlife and is permanently anchored on the Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel. Approximately 200,000 students and tourists visit the battleship each year.
The Texas is also used by several veterans and military groups. The Naval Order of the United States holds a remembrance for Pearl Harbor Day Veterans on board, and sailors who served on the Texas hold reunions there.