Originally Posted by PCP
Preserving a naval tradition is no different then preserving any other significant cultural part of a culture. For some cultures the naval tradition is stronger and more important than in others and therefore the preservation has a memorial is more important. For other countries the literature, art are more or less important.
Anyway a culture belongs to a nation and for a nation to be healthy their cultural roots have to be strong. Regarding America it is no different. Look at the importance that the Americans give to their constitution. On most countries in Europe they are already in their 3th or 4th constitution and we don't have that reverence regarding the Constitution. All cultures are different as the different value they give to different cultural aspects.
The preservation of fundamental aspects of a culture can be made by individuals but should always have a government frame. After all a culture belongs not to individuals but to a nation and that means all. It is in this perspective that the preservation of a Naval tradition should be looked at.
This all sounds nice, but you seem to mistake preserving the culture, which can be done quite economically, with preserving the actual ships, which are made out of biodegradable materials and are extraordinarily expensive to maintain. At a certain point priorities need to be set, and that may mean you can't afford to keep pouring money down that "hole in the water."
European economies, including Portugal, are learning this the hard way right now. The severe austerity measures have been a disaster, but some changes are going to have to be made to bring your spending down to a sustainable level, and with so many truly critical things to spend money on, I am not sure that maintaining these old ships can or should continue at the same level that it has in your countries.
I am a naive Yankee outsider, so take my comments with the appropriate grain of salt.