Intrepid Museum Celebrates 20 Years
By Sgt. John Neal
| | July 31, 2002
NEW YORK --
She spent 31 years in the Navy, participated in battles in the Pacific during World War II, did three tours in Vietnam, and hunted Soviet submarines during the Cold War. She retired from the Navy in 1974.
Under a scorching sun July 31, the Intrepid celebrated 20 years of post-retirement service as a museum at Pier 86 here.
After her military service, the steel gray aircraft carrier was destined for the scrap yard. The late New York philanthropist Zachary Fisher and his wife, Elizabeth, came to the rescue and founded the Intrepid Museum Foundation. The infamous "Ghost Ship" of World War II was moved to New York and rededicated in 1982 as the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum.
Several dignitaries from New York City and the Marine Corps, including Maj. Gen. Jerry D. Humble, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, gathered to pay tribute to New York's largest floating museum. The ceremony July 31, on the 900-foot long flight deck included a proclamation from New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg presented by Michael Handy, director of the Mayor's Office of Veteran's Affairs, and a ceremonial cake cutting. Guest speakers included Humble, museum president and retired Marine Lt. Gen. Martin R. Steele, and the Chairman and CEO of the Intrepid Museum, M. Anthony Fisher. Capping the ceremony off was the raising of 20 American flags by guests and Marines stationed in the New York area to commemorate two decades of public service.
In its 20-year history as a museum, the Intrepid has played host to every Fleet Week celebration in New York City, hosted presidents and prime ministers, and opened numerous exhibits dedicated to preserving America's proud military history.
The Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum overlooks the Hudson River at Pier 86, 12th Avenue and 46th Street in New York. It is open every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.