Greetings from the flight deck of the USS Midway, where we are once again hearing the excited voices of school children as they move about the ship. We are also getting very busy booking after-hour events as America emerges from its COVID coma and begins to return to normal.
Additionally, we’re seeing our museum visitors return in larger numbers, and our hangar and flight decks are coming back to life for all of our San Diego residents and tourists alike. Midway Magic is alive and well, and we’re recovering and building towards the future.
In my last column, I talked about how fortunate we were to have survived the pandemic and still be on a solid financial footing, while maintaining a strong staff and seeing the return of most of our volunteers.
As we begin to rebuild our programs to support the increase in demand, we are also beginning a very exciting future as we work to expand Midway’s footprint beyond the ship. I am very pleased to announce to our members and supporters, that we have begun work to build a park to honor veterans on Navy Pier which will extend around to the Bob Hope Memorial next to the Fish Market restaurant on the G Street Mole.
The Port of San Diego has begun work to finalize the shoring up of all of the pylons beneath the pier. When the Port is finished, hopefully within the next year, we will be ready to demolish Building 11 at the foot of the pier and begin building Freedom Park at Navy Pier.
We will keep you all apprised as we begin our project, but I wanted you to know that we have finally achieved the consensus between the Port, the California Coastal Commission and Midway on the footprint for the future park. In fact, I just recently signed a memorandum of understand (MOU) with the Port to collaborate on the park’s construction. Once built, it will be the largest veterans park on the West Coast, and serve as an anchoring piece of San Diego for future generations.
We have set an ambitious goal to schedule the ground-breaking ceremony to begin construction of the park in 2024, the 20th anniversary of the arrival of USS Midway to San Diego. It will be a great celebration for our entire city and a tribute to our veterans for centuries to come.
Thank you all for your constant support.
Onward and upward,