NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – The U.S. Coast Guard commemorated the new construction of the National Coast Guard Museum in New London on Friday in a formal ceremony at the city pier Friday.

Admiral Linda L. Fagan, Commandant of the Coast Guard, officiated the symbolic “keel laying “ceremony for the museum’s main building. A “Keel Laying” ceremony is a tradition of laying down a ship’s backbone to mark the start of its construction, officials said.

The museum will memorialize more than 230 years of service in one central location to honor the legacy and heritage of the Coast Guard, according to military officials.

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“Today was a beautiful day in New London and for the Coast Guard,” said Fagan. “I am excited about the National Coast Guard Museum, a place where we can share our history and stories with the American public. I appreciate the many people who worked hard to get us here, and I can’t wait to see this new museum take shape.”

A shot from the Aug. 19 museum construction ceremony. Photo by the U.S. Coast Guard

Sen. Blumenthal, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Joe Courtney, and other local government officials attended the ceremony.

The 80,000 square foot exhibit space will consist of six floors to represent how past and current Coast Guard service members embody the service’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.

For more information please visit the United States Coast Guard website.