HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The future for a North Jersey veterans memorial has become uncertain since being told to move from its home.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, a housing development is now taking its place.
The land near the Hackensack River had been promised to the Submarine Memorial Foundation for $1 a year in 1972, but now the veterans are getting kicked off of the property.
“This memorial is to memorialize the 52 submarines that were lost, 3,500 men,” Les Altschuler, Vice President, Submarine Memorial Foundation, added.
The land upon which the museum and memorial sit is owned by Stephen Borg of MacroMedia — the parent company for North Jersey Media Group.
Borg’s grandfather was a veteran and brokered the original deal.
“Since 1994, the company has only had a month-to-month arrangement with the association, which we terminated on May 31, 2016,” Borg’s lawyer said in a statement.
Borg is planning a redevelopment project with mixed housing and retail, leaving the veterans and the artifacts with nowhere to go.
“The memorial was erected by WWII submariners, some still here today — 95 going on 96, still volunteering,” Altschuler said.
On Tuesday, the Navy was on site logging the artifacts and trying to figure out how and where to move the pieces of history.
Veterans say the USS Ling, a submarine, can not be moved in such shallow water.
The Hackensack River has not been dredged since the 1960s.
Local officials have been working to get funding to relocate the memorial.
“Recognizing that development does take place, change does happen,” Assemblyman Gordon Johnson said.
The assemblyman added that as an elected official he has an obligation to find a place for the artifacts.
The site clearly has a lot of meaning, and for now, no one knows what will happen to the memorial when it is torn down.
The veterans are pushing to have a museum and memorial on the water next to the submarine they served on.