ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Construction of a memorial to honor the man called the “Father of the U.S. Navy” has begun in Annapolis.

The Capital of Annapolis reports that an archway that is part of a new memorial to Commodore John Barry was set up Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy. Barry was the first commissioned officer of the Navy and commanded three ships during the American Revolutionary War.

A letter writing campaign by a fraternal organization called the Ancient Order of the Hibernians spearheaded the project. The Naval Academy’s Memorial Oversight Committee approved the construction last spring. It should be finished within the year.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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