12 November 2017

Laguna Vista monument honors aircraft carriers and crews

An aircraft carrier monument in Laguna Vista’s Veterans Park seemed like a good way to honor the countless service members who spent part of their lives on the USS Constellation, USS Independence and USS Ranger, as well as the ships themselves.

So says Chris Green, president of International Shipbreaking and regional manager for its parent company, EMR Group. The ship recycling company is dismantling the Independence, which arrived in June at the Port of Brownsville, and has completed work on the Constellation and the Ranger.

For the monument, unveiled on Veterans Day, the ship breaker donated bollards — short vertical posts mounted on deck and used to secure the ship to the dock — from each of the carriers. Green said the company had wanted to create some type of monument since it received its first retired “supercarrier,” the Constellation, in January 2015.

International Shipbreaking was first approached by Laguna Vista Mayor Susie Houston about putting something in VeteransPark, though Robert Rice, retiring chaplain for the local veterans group Warriors United in Arms, came up with the idea for the monument and pushed the project through to fruition, Green said.

“He was just really instrumental in keeping it going,” Green said. “The mayor of Laguna Vista was very supportive, and the town council has been very supportive the whole time.”

Source: Brownsville Herald. 11 November 2017

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