Wait a second. I just finalized my plans to go to New York. How did the press find out so quickly. Who leaked my travel plans?
It so happens that the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier returned today to it's spot in Manhattan where it has served for 24 years as a military and space museum. The Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum had occupied the Manhattan space until late 2006, when it was moved for extensive repairs and improvements costing nearly $120 million.
The USS Intrepid was launched on April 26, 1943 by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Virginia, it was the fifth Essex-class aircraft carrier to be launched. The Intrepid has one of the most distinguished service records of any Navy ship, seeing active service in the Pacific Theater including the Marshall Islands, Truk, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa. Later she recovered spacecraft of the Mercury and Gemini programs and served in the Vietnam War.
I learned today while researching this post that while the Intrepid was able to survive five Japanese kamikaze suicide planes, it narrowly escaped demolition. Ultimately, it was rescued by New York real estate developer and philanthropist Zachary Fisher. Zachary Fisher, who died in 1999, gave more than $25 million to the establishment of the Intrepid Museum. He also set up a foundation that sent $10,000 checks to families of the 241 people who died when a Marine barracks was bombed in Beirut in 1983.
President Clinton, later recognized Mr. Fisher by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 saying "he never knew any other civilian who cared as much about the military."
I am personally grateful to Mr. Zachary Fisher and the Men and Women who have proudly served on the USS Intrepid.
I will be traveling to New York next week and I hope to stop by for a visit. Unfortunately, I hear the carrier won't be open until early November. Maybe I can get some photos from afar.
Follow this link for a slide show of the USS Intrepid's return:http://www.wnbc.com/slideshow/news//17608885/detail.html