SS United States Conservancy Pays Respect to Philanthropist Gerry Lenfest

SS United States docked at Philadelphia, PA. (Image: Creative Commons. Image Credit: Lowlova.)

Susan Gibbs, executive director of the SS United States Conservancy, the owner and caretaker of America’s Flagship, the SS United States, has released a statement on the passing of Gerry Lenfest, one of the nation’s foremost philanthropists. In 2011 Lenfest donated the funds necessary to prevent the scrapping of the iconic SS United States, allowing the nonprofit organization to purchase the vessel from Norwegian Cruise Line.  The SS United States remains the only American ocean liner still afloat and still holds the transatlantic speed record. Since 2011, the Conservancy has built a community of supporters from across the nation and around the world and is working to advance a long-term redevelopment plan to save the historic vessel for future generations.

“Gerry Lenfest was our hero,” Gibbs said. “Without him, our nation’s flagship would have been lost to history. Like all great Americans, Gerry turned his own success into a way to give back to his community, his country, and the world. When he saw a need, he responded with a generosity and vision that inspired countless others to rally to great causes.  When the SS United States was only days away from being lost forever, Gerry Lenfest stepped forward. He said that the SS United States was the ‘most majestic, most beautiful ship afloat.’ He believed the ship was ‘built at a time when “Made in America” really meant something, and that is a legacy that cannot be lost.’  We will continue to uphold Gerry’s own extraordinary legacy. The SS United States Conservancy—and indeed the entire nation—is deeply indebted to a true American patriot and visionary. We wish Gerry fair winds and following seas, and we will work every day to honor his commitment to the SS United States and the nation’s maritime history.”

Learn more about the ship at http://www.ssusc.org/.

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