Veteran Irvin Thorson, a member of the USS Iowa crew, talks about the tear-jerking memories as he visits the World War II battleship, which will open this weekend as a museum. Cary Berglund reports for the NBC4 News at noon on July 4, 2012 from San Pedro.
In the past, when our city has gotten a new museum or major attraction, that attraction took a year or two to build, at least.
But 2012 has been an unusual year. Not one but two of our headline-making attractions have not been constructed on the spot; they arrived, rather. First up was the boulder in LACMA's "Levitated Mass," which traveled from a quarry near Riverside, and then a much, much larger attraction was tugged to Los Angeles from Richmond in the Bay Area.
We're of course referring to the USS Iowa, the World War II battleship that once ferried presidents and traveled the globe on a number of important missions. It has made headlines for a number of months, and very much so over Memorial Day Weekend, when it made its watery way south to its new home at the Port of Los Angeles where it will now be open as a "floating museum."
Word from the ship is that opening weekend tickets are "still available." But even if you can't make it to Berth 87 in San Pedro, you can secure your admission for soon after. And there will be a lot of open days at the USS Iowa; the ship will only be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
A digital on-board theater and visits to places like the ward room and armored bridge will be part of the experience.
"Our mission is simple. Honor the world's best and last available battleship and those who served aboard her for the educational benefits of those who visit it," said President of the Pacific Battleship Center, Mr. Robert Kent.