Mobile has historic week

Published 3:30 pm Monday, November 10, 2008

By Staff
Last week will go down in the history books for the city of Mobile. After years of anticipation, our city celebrated the grand openings of two local institutions - the new container terminal at the Port of Mobile and the Mitchell Cancer Institute.
As a reader of Mobile's Press-Register recently wrote in a letter to the editor, “Both are located within the city limits of Mobile, but their arms reach around the world.”
The new container terminal opens the Port of Mobile as the new gateway for containerized cargo to U.S. markets creating 300 permanent jobs, a number that is expected to increase to 470 jobs over the next ten years.
The new container terminal will be a huge boost for Alabama's industries - helping them compete and win in today's global economy. It will also help Alabama, as we continue in our efforts to recruit new industries to our state.
One of the driving forces in a decision to locate a new business is transportation infrastructure, and Mobile is uniquely situated to provide transportation access to major markets across the country with its two interstate systems, five railroads, and nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterway connections.
Not only will this new facility enable the Port of Mobile to handle the needs of Alabama but also the needs of regional manufacturers throughout the Southeast.
The Port of Mobile is now the 10th largest in the United States in terms of cargo tonnage. Now that the terminal is fully operational, Mobile is poised to join an impressive list of other U.S. ports such as Los Angeles, New York, Houston, and Charleston - as one of the top ports in the nation.
As I mentioned, the Mitchell Cancer Institute officially opened its doors last week as well.
First proposed eight years ago by University of South Alabama President Gordon Moulton, himself a cancer survivor, the Mitchell Cancer Institute is the first academic cancer research institute in the upper Gulf Coast region. It combines cancer research and treatment in one place.
With the unprecedented support of the Mitchell family, who made a $22 million gift to the university in 2006, today the institute is a reality.
Designed to treat as many as 40,000 patients per year, the Mitchell Cancer Institute will open the doors of recovery to those living with cancer.
As Lance Armstrong once said, “If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope?”
That is exactly what this facility will provide - hope. Hope to the young mother diagnosed with breast cancer - hope to the wife whose husband is battling lung cancer - hope to patients and their families.
Jo Bonner is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at www.bonnerhouse.gov.