A friend was in Key West on holiday just after New Years and, knowing of my interest in both cemeteries and monuments, sent me the images below of the U.S.S. Maine Memorial. That ship sank in Havana harbor on this date in 1898, 125 years ago today. Over 250 men lost their lives. I have always had an affinity for the Maine on a number of levels. For one thing, it was built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Also, I remember taking college freshman history back in the day and our professor telling us about the study Admiral Hyman Rickover had once commissioned to get to the bottom of the sinking. Those investigators did not reach a definitive conclusion. A Historic American Buildings Report (HABS) tells us that the Maine was not memorialized at the national level until 1910, the year the ship was raised from Havana harbor. Her foremast was brought to Governor’s Island for a brief time before going to the Naval Academy. Local communities did build memorials to the Maine during and immediately following the Spanish American War. The one in Key West Cemetery was dedicated in March 1900, during which as you can see several sailors were also laid to rest. Here is a good 2015 article from the U.S. Naval Institute’s Naval History Magazine.
Remember the Maine
15 Wednesday Feb 2023
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