WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Kenneth J. Braithwaite, visited Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) at the historic Washington Navy Yard, June 5, to view the work of the historians, curators, archeologists, archivists and professionals and discuss the future of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.
During the tour, SECNAV viewed the different aspects of NHHC such as the Underwater Archaeology Lab where he saw firsthand the curation of historic artifacts. He also discussed the significance the items hold to Navy culture, the stories those artifacts evoke, and the role history plays in connecting Sailors to their service.
“I want to help Sailors understand what it is to be a part of something as unique as the United States Navy,” said Braithwaite. “Access to stories from our heritage and from those who served before us cement in our current Sailors that Navy service is a calling; it’s not just a job.”
Hosting the visit to the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, NHHC Director, retired Rear Adm. Samuel J. Cox, showed SECNAV the museum’s exhibit of Navy’s role in World War II and other historic displays. The tour of the museum was an opportunity to discuss its value and location, currently within the historic walls of the Washington Navy Yard.
“While important to be in the Navy Yard and its historic location, the current location within the confines of the installation limit the public’s exposure to the U.S. Navy. The stories of our Sailors are important. The National Museum of the U.S. Navy not only tells our history and heritage, but through our artifacts and our people, those stories come to life,” Cox said. “The future of this museum and the history it holds depends on the ability for the American public to immerse themselves in that heritage. To truly understand Navy service, you need to experience it; see it.”
Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy's unique and enduring contributions through our nation's history, and supports the fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, ten museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.