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Earlier This Year Buffalo’s Treasured WWII Naval Museum Ship Started Sinking After A Serious Hull Breach; Schumer Immediately Came To Buffalo And Began Working To Develop An All Hands On Deck Approach To Save WNY Landmark, Which Honors The Five Sullivan Brothers Who All Died While Serving Together During WWII

Senator Promised He’d Secure Robust Funding To Give Financial Lifeboat The USS The Sullivans Needed To Assist with Critical Repairs – Now, Just In Time For Christmas – Schumer Announces The Funding Will Be Included In The Must-Pass Spending Bill This Week

Schumer: It’s Full Steam Ahead For Restoring The USS The Sullivans

After standing in front of the sinking ship and promising to help restore the USS The Sullivans earlier this year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that the must-pass end-of-year spending bill will include $7.5 million to fund the repairs of the iconic WWII Western New York landmark to help bring it back to tip-top condition at Canalside.

“I stood in front of the USS The Sullivans as it started to sink into the harbor and promised I would get all hands on deck to get the funding we needed to restore this pride and joy for Buffalo, our veterans, and strong Irish-American community. I am proud to say a promise made is now a promise kept, and funding will soon be on the way to help restore this iconic Western New York landmark, which honors the tragic loss of the five Sullivan brothers,” said Senator Schumer. “Earlier this year the waters ahead looked rocky and rough, but I knew this ship and all it stands for meant too much to Buffalo to let it sink into the abyss. The $7.5 million I have secured in the spending bill, which will pass this week, will give the community the robust financial support it needs to help fund repairs so this beloved vessel can continue to be admired for generations to come. I am happy to deliver this early Christmas present to Buffalo’s Naval Park and to have steered the USS The Sullivans onto a safer waters with a brighter future on the horizon.”

“This investment will secure the USS Sullivans place in Buffalo’s Naval and Military Park for generations to come,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. “I want to thank Senator Schumer for securing this funding to preserve the Jewel of the City’s Buffalo Naval and Military Park for all to enjoy.”

Paul J. Marzello Sr., President & CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park said, “We are extremely grateful to Senator Schumer for his commitment to Saving the Sullivans. As a National Historic Landmark, her value extends beyond the boundaries of the WNY community. Her value is measured in the lives of the five Sullivan brothers who the ship is named after and every Veteran who has ever served this nation. With gratitude from all, thank you for providing the funding to help preserve this ship for generations to come” 

Immediately after the USS The Sullivans began sinking, Schumer came to Buffalo and stood outside the sinking ship to pledge his support to the veteran and Western New York community to help get the federal funding to repair the landmark. The funding will go directly to ensuring this beloved vessel can be restored and remain on permanent display at the Buffalo Naval and Military Park. Specifically, $2.5 million of the funding will come from the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund and $5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Fund as congressionally directed spending. Schumer initially secured the funding over the summer and now it will be included in the must pass end of the year spending bill, expected to be voted on later this week. Specifically, the funding will go to ensuring the long term structural integrity of the hull of the ship and making repairs to the hull and interior that were severely damaged which caused the ship to fill with water earlier this year. A ship architect and crew arrived in Buffalo last week and are collecting data on USS The Sullivans and developing comprehensive preservation plan for the repair of the museum ship.

Commissioned in 1943, the USS The Sullivans operated in the Pacific Theater during World War II and is one of four remaining Fletcher-class destroyers left in the world. The ship is named in honor of the working-class Irish-American family that lost all five of its sons during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. It was decommissioned in 1965 and donated in 1977 to the City of Buffalo, where it remains a National Historic Landmark and has served as a memorial and museum ship ever since.