Intrepid Museum commemorates Veterans Day with wreath laying ceremony

NY: Intrepid Museum Veterans Day Ceremony
Former USS Intrepid crew members throw a commemorative wreath in the Hudson River on Nov. 11 2023. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86 in Hudson River Park commemorated Veterans Day with its annual ceremony and wreath laying in the Hudson River Saturday honoring former crew members of the USS Intrepid. 

Guests included former crew members as well as officers, crew, and marines from the USS New York, who arrived in New York Harbor on Nov. 8, to kick off the Veterans Day celebrations in New York City. Museum visitors were also invited to attend the ceremony to honor and show gratitude for the sacrifices made by the men and women in the armed forces, who courageously served in all parts of the world. 

The aircraft carrier, a National Historic Landmark, was commissioned in 1943, served in World War II and the Cold War, and made three tours in Vietnam. In 1974, the carrier was decommissioned. 

Bruce Mosler, co-chairman of the Intrepid Museum, addressed the former Intrepid crew members, many now advancing in age.

“You made the Intrepid what it is today. It is a living legend,” Mosler said. “It is more than steel. It is hope. It is aspiration. It is the future, and that is because of our former crew members. So, we owe you a debt of gratitude that we can never fully repay. But we’ll keep on trying.”

Mosler reminded the attendees that “we live in dangerous times” with conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, coups in Africa, and China’s determination to assert itself in the Pacific. 

“So today, of all days, we must not forget, we can never forget that America guards the forefront of the order of general peace that NATO has provided for the last 80 years,” Mosler said. “And thanks to unprovoked barbaric attacks by Russia and Vladimir Putin, NATO has never been stronger.” 

Rear Admiral Wesley R. McCall speaks at the Veterans Day ceremony at the Intrepid Museum on Nov. 11, 2023. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

James Hendon, commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, thanked the veterans for their service and willingness to sacrifice their lives for the country. 

“You symbolize the gift that our veterans, military service members, and their families give to this nation at great cost, over and over and over again,” Hendon said. “For this reason, we gather to say thank you for your service.” 

Rear Admiral Wesley R. McCall said that all service members, past and present, were part of an unbroken chain of men and women who devoted themselves to the nation with “honor and distinction.” 

“On behalf of the very proud and grateful nation, we thank you,” McCall said. “We not only thank you for your service, we owe you our respect and our freedom, a freedom so many take for granted.”

McCall also acknowledged those who currently serve in the armed forces in a “world full of great tension, conflict, discrimination, and hate.”

“Today, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed, defending us overseas and domestically,” McCall said. “We gather together to pause, to reflect, and offer our gratitude to so many who have volunteered to serve this great country.”

The museum is open from Monday through Sunday and on holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during fall and winter. The entrance is free to all U.S. veterans, active and retired military.

US Marines and former USS Intrepid crew members attend the Veterans Day ceremony at the Intrepid on Nov. 11, 2023. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
The USS Intrepid is a National Historic Landmark. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)