To the editor:
Reading the headlines in recent weeks concerning Beverly’s waterfront forced me to rethink Beverly and what the city means to me.
For me, being a lifelong resident, as well as being a part of a multitude of generations who called this city its home, the meaning is in its richness in history and culture. I could go on and on about its maritime history, but my point is, what is it we are trying to say in revitalizing the waterfront? I am all for utilizing what resources we have in the waterfront, but I wonder what it is that we’d be losing in taking away Beverly’s port designation. Sure, we no longer have barges delivering and exporting materials up and down the Bass River to the USM Corp. and also to the other industries that made Beverly’s hallmark, but there would be some things lost to us that I don’t think any of us have considered.
One would be the tall ships: Taking away the city’s port designation would mean Beverly would no longer be a port of call for them. Secondly, are we giving up on the notion that Beverly is the birthplace of the American Navy? I wouldn’t think so either, but what point would there be to a waterfront park with concessions if we are not celebrating the city’s history in regard to the Hannah or all the fishermen who made Beverly their home port over the centuries?
I may not be alone in this, but my vision of the park would eventually include a replica of the converted schooner, along with some type of memorials and dedications, berthed right there near the pier (this can and should include where she was refitted in Marblehead as maybe a shared bragging right). For me, it would be a sight to behold when coming over Veterans Memorial Bridge and seeing something akin to what you would find in Salem or Boston, for that matter.