Coast Guard museum on hold

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The Coast Guard Foundation has voted to postpone work on developing a National Coast Guard Museum.

"The reality of today's economic climate makes a project which is so dependant on private philanthropy very difficult at this time," said Ross Roeder, chairman of the Coast Guard Foundation board, in a statement. "When the decision was made to move forward with the museum in 2008 the economy was stronger. It is clear that we need to take time now to carefully reposition the project for success in the future."

The project was launched last year to honor the efforts of the Coast Guard and celebrate the more than 1 million individuals saved by the agency - the only branch of the military that does not have a museum.

For the past nine months, the foundation and the museum association have worked together on the project. Jerry Ostermiller, an experienced museum administrator, was brought on board in January to raise funds and develop plans for the museum.

With the postponement of the project, Ostermiller has chosen to step down as president.

"Working with the museum's board, the foundation staff and the Coast Guard has been simply inspiring," said Ostermiller, in a statement. "I know someday soon our guardians - the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard - will have this museum, and their awe-inspiring stories will finally be told."

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