It was great to be open again and see our crew come together for the first time in over 2 months. Our first reopening weekend generated 5% of our normal attendance or a 95% reduction from 2019. We are open, but have a very long road towards recovery. There is no doubt that we will need your continued support and contributions to make it through this crisis.
This weekend was emotional for many of the crew. Coming aboard again and seeing the crew out in force, wearing their masks and practicing distancing, makes me proud to be a small part of this amazing team. To see our ship family again simply feels great and makes us realize how much we missed each other since mid-March.
On Saturday, I walked into my office with the lights on for the first time in over 2 months. I sat down at my desk and looked around to what seemed like a distant memory. Items left on my desk of what I was working on in mid-March seemed no longer relevant and now part of history. From expired Southwest Airlines coupons to business cards of people that no longer have jobs, it highlights the new times ahead for all of us.
Yet there is so much that reminds me of our path forward including the presentation booklets and Plank Owner certificates for the National Museum of the Surface Navy, the plaques from Fleet Week, the memories from challenge coins, and the smiling faces under the masks of our crew.
This past Saturday started a new chapter in the life of the Battleship IOWA. This chapter will be focused on building a new organization that exceeds the accomplishments of those from the last chapter. A chapter that will require each of us to remain vigilant, committed, and supportive to succeed in this new world.
With that said, we could utilize your assistance with a few items.
1) Please go to Google and search “Battleship IOWA”. You will see a red “Temporarily Closed” bar on our maps listing. Please click the little down arrow and click “Report” open. This will let Google know that we are in fact open! I have been doing this every couple of hours for the past few days, hoping it will finally register.
2) Please let your friends, family, co-workers, and the world know that we are open for outdoor museum tours. Let hem know that their visit and/or donation go towards supporting our veterans, education, and community programs. Our website is at https://www.pacificbattleship.com.
We WILL weather this storm and we WILL be stronger because of you! Thank you for your support, donations, and advocacy.
-Jonathan Williams, President & CEO