City looks to add ‘America’s First WWII Heritage City’ under ‘Welcome To Wilmington’ signs

Wilmington was honored for local efforts to preserve the U.S.S. North Carolina, permanently moored as a museum on the Cape Fear River since 1961. (Port City Daily photo/file)

WILMINGTON — The City of Wilmington will take a step Tuesday to celebrate its recent recognition as the country’s first World War II Heritage City.

On the 75th anniversary of the American victory in the war, President Donald Trump visited the Battleship North Carolina to officially grant Wilmington the title. The designation recognizes the city’s contribution to the war effort, its commitment to preserving that history and the service of veterans from the area.

“It was the citizens of Wilmington who came together to save a priceless artifact of American history: the glorious battleship behind me, the USS North Carolina,” Trump told a crowd in September. “And that is some powerful and beautiful ship.”


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As part of its consent agenda, Wilmington City Council will likely approve a resolution Tuesday to hang a panel reading “America’s First WWII Heritage City” under the green “Welcome to Wilmington” signs on state-maintained roads.

The city currently displays “Home of the North Carolina Azalea Festival” at its entry-ways, as well.

The N.C. Department of Transportation requires local governments to OK the installation and verify they will cover the costs. Those expenses include the fabrication, installation and maintenance up to DOT and Federal Highway Administration standards.

Following two other presentations early into the meeting, council will hear an update on the World War II Heritage City classification from Tony McEwen, special assistant to the city manager, and Capt. Wilbur Jones, a U.S. Navy veteran and military historian who led the effort for the recognition.

Council will also listen to reports from the southeastern office of the NC Biotechnology Center and the Mayor’s Ad Hoc Clean Energy Policy Task Force.

The meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 pm in the Wilmington Convention Center, 10 Convention Center Drive. Viewers can also watch on GTV8 (Spectrum channel 8, the city website and YouTube.


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