Sunday, May 27, 2012
Exotic America: All aboard the Intrepid for Memorial Day...
With all the travel we've been doing for work this month, we didn't get around to planning a major outing for this three day weekend. But that ended up being just as well - it gave us an opportunity to head up to New Jersey to visit the fam, and we headed in to the city for a change of pace on Sunday.
Wanting to do something to commemorate Memorial Day, which is the American holiday honoring US veterans and fallen, it dawned on me that I've never been aboard an aircraft carrier. Not that that's all that common to have been on one, but with a lot of friends and family closely tied to the Navy, it's kind of uncommon in my immediate circle. In fact, I've got a brother out on right now (thank you, brother!). so what better time than Fleet Week to see what these floating cities are all about.
Fleet Week brings all sorts of US military seacraft to NYC but we visited the USS Intrepid, which is a permanently docked air craft carrier docked in the city that serves as a museum for both the carrier and assorted carrier-based aircraft. The ship itself was put into service soon after Pearl Harbor, bore the brunt of Kamikaze landings and theater in the South Pacific, floated for aircraft in Vietnam, was the recovery ship for multiple space missions, and was a floating FBI office after 9/11 as well. That's some tremendous history.
Being aboard makes you realize how fantastically large these ships (and this isn't even one of the modern ones), yet, they're small enough that you are in awe of the fact multiple planes can take off and land on these runways at the drop of a hat. Also, how wacky is it to see all of this fighter aircraft with the New York skyline in the background? The museum does a beautiful job of showcasing the ship's service with lots of information on the engineering and logistics, as well as on the exceptional service of individual veterans. Interestingly, the Fischer family, who led the development of the project, took this on because he couldn't serve in the military himself and always felt indebted to the service of others.
I couldn't think of a more fitting way to do something to commemorate the reason behind this holiday that we consider the start of summer...
All photos by The New Diplomat's Wife.