Jim Fifis, 68, rose from dishwasher to Ponzio's co-owner
Gloucester City Mayor & Council Agenda for August meeting

Letters:Swastikas on Anchor Should be Removed

Bill,

I was driving past the Gloucester City Harbor yesterday with my son and I noticed this very large anchor next to the entrance. My son was all excited about this because he is so fascinated with ships. We come to the harbor every Sunday to walk and watch the ships go past. As we get closer to the anchor my eyes notice two swastikas on each side of the anchor. These swastikas were not graffiti; they were of the original design and are welded on.

I was in such a total shock I almost drove right past the stop sign. I had to turn around and take a double look. Please Please Please tell me my eyes have deceived me and tell me the new political powers have not made this awful decision to plant this anchor here for good.

I am thrilled to see all the new changes being made in Gloucester City and I am really impressed with the progress so far to date but this choice seems to be a bad one.

Now Bill, the swastika has had many meaning, many of which used to have a positive influence but that was until Germany and the Nazi Party used that symbol as their own to murder millions upon millions of people. Since this time the symbol of the swastika has been seen as a symbol of hatred, racism and death. I am sure that other will be dissatisfied with the choice made by Mayor James to place this anchor at our harbor.

The harbor is a family place that is suppose to bring joy and comfort. The harbor is a frequent place for older individuals who might have served in our military during the time of the swastika and by seeing these symbols thoughts of those days may come back to haunt them. Not to mention the 7 million plus people who have died by thoughts of these symbols is a good enough for any not have down by the harbor.

Nothing good can ever come from the swastika anymore and I really hope that Mayor James makes the right decision to change the situation at hand.

My suggestion would be to have a local welder come by and change those symbols to some sort of block or something that would mask the view of the swastika. Or get rid of it all together.

Until then I am afraid to say that my son will miss out on all the ships down by this harbor because I cannot subject him to such hatred, racism and death. We will seek other harbors outside the city that bring more comfort and heartfelt welcome to those who wish to enjoy

 


Signed Disappointed

 

Note from Bill: Dear Disappointed I talked to Mayor Bill James about your concerns and he gave me the following statement, “The anchor came from a German freighter captured off of the Atlantic Coast by the Coast Guard during World War II. The Coast Guard displayed the anchor at their base in Gloucester City for over 40 years. When it was first placed at the King Street property there was a Jewish Synagogue a block away. Because of it historic value the City decided it would be wrong to remove the symbols. In the near future a plaque will be placed at the foot of the anchor explaining the history of the anchor.  Please tell your son that the swastika is a reminder of the evil that America defeated so that you and he and all of us could have the opportunity to enjoy a walk along the harbor.”

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