My Fellow Clevelanders:
I am pleased to present the first annual report of the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation (USSCLF), a 501(c)(3) organization granted nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service on November 20, 2019.
What began in October 2018 with the announcement of the fourth United States Ship to be named in honor of the people of Cleveland has grown rapidly into a once-in-a-lifetime civic initiative. In a little over two years, USSCLF has expanded from a small, committed group of patriotic citizens into a full-fledged nonprofit that not only will help commission a new United States Navy warship but build durable connections between the sea services and the Greater Cleveland community.
The future USS CLEVELAND (LCS 31) will carry the name “Cleveland” around the world, serving as a tangible emblem of our great city, its rich heritage, and a bright future. In representing the Nation, she will also epitomize the people of Cleveland – strong yet humble Midwesterners who exemplify hard work and sacrifice in the service of family, community, and country. To be sure, she will project the American commitment to peace through strength. But for us – the people of Cleveland – she will also serve as a catalyst:
- The men and women from across the United States who will sail in her will come to know and love this city as we do, perhaps considering Cleveland as the place they wish to live, work, and raise their families after concluding naval service.
- The young people of our region who will have the opportunity to engage with retired admirals and generals, decorated officers who also grew up here, will be inspired to dream about their own distinguished careers in the military, public service, or the private sector.
- And every Clevelander who will learn about this ship – scheduled to commission here in Cleveland in 2023 – will have an opportunity over the next two to three decades to support those who will operate this symbol of American strength and Cleveland grit before we request that she retire home to the shores of Lake Erie as a permanent memorial and museum.
The USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation is only getting started. We invite you to join us on this journey of Cleveland civic pride, American patriotism, and service to a cause larger than self.
President & Executive Director
USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation