The United States, in reality was a small nation that grew into what could best be described as a continental nation that had the geographic characteristics of an island, with two vast oceans on each side. Mahan's theory was adopted by then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, who moved to expand shipbuilding, and upon becoming President, launched the United States on the course that led to being a Great Power.
This past week saw one of the last of these great battleships, the USS Iowa BB-61 taste the open sea one more time as she was moved south to the Port of Los Angeles to become a living history museum and education center. The passage of this great ship captured the attention of thousands who lined the shore as she passed under the Golden Gate. The active U.S. Navy stood in salute, and as she road at anchor having her hull cleaned off the coast of Los Angeles, Navy Seals and the USS Decatur cruised by to offer one more salute and pause to remember her service and the legacy of American naval sea power she represented.
The contributions of these great ships has been more than their intended role to slug it out with other battleships in great contests rivaling those that occurred two hundred years ago, as we remember the War of 1812. But it is well documented that without them, the history of our rise would not have been possible.