US Navy Salutes San Francisco
on Veterans Day
November 12, 2005
USS Abraham Lincoln - The US Navy made another dramatic
entrance into San Francisco on Veterans Day. This time, the Nimitz-class
nuclear powered aircraft carrier (CVN 72) steamed into San Francisco
to honor veterans and the fallen, mooring her 100,000-ton hull
within a few nautical miles off Treasure Island and Hunters Point.
According to observers attending a reception aboard the USS Abraham
Lincoln, the US Navy chose San Francisco to honor veterans and
the fallen to make a statement.
"San Francisco was once home to a large naval shipping base
and the US Navy wants to leave a symbolic impression that they're
still here," stated Bill Stephens, Director, Historic Ship
Memorial at Pacific Square.
The US Navy's rich history with San Francisco began in 1906 when
the US Navy responded in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake,
sending ships from as far as San Diego to help extinguish fires
that raged for days after the estimated 7.8 magnitude temblor
In 1912, Mare Island became home to the decommissioned Independence,
the oldest ship in the Navy's fleet at the time.
In 1942, the Navy seized Treasure Island claiming federal jurisdiction
over navigable waters and remains party to present day transfer
negotiations. The US Navy also seized Hunters Point citing, "Military
necessity must come before other considerations."
Military budget cuts led to the eventual closing of Treasure
Island and Hunter's Point, spelling the end of the US Navy's physical
presence in San Francisco.
But, despite the base closures, the US Navy has not forgotten
San Francisco. Next year will be the centennial of the 1906 earthquake.
The Navy is expected to fully participate in the commemorative
events and to remain closely connected to San Francisco's past,
present and future.