One of the highlights of my recent overnight in NYC with my youngest son was a couple of hours spent touring the Intrepid aircraft carrier. We’ve visited this historic vessel before, but it’s been a long time and the Memorial Day holiday provided the perfect reason to go back again.
We arrived at about noon, after a leisurely walk following checkout from The Paul Hotel on 29th Street. The lines for admission were a bit daunting, but we decided to invest 20 minutes and then reevaluate our commitment. Fortunately, things moved pretty quickly and after a hiccup using the automated ticket ($33 per ticket) dispenser, we were boarding.
Quinn wanted to begin our self-guided tour on the ship’s bridge so we headed up the external stairs. As we rounded a turn, the sound of Taps caused us to pause. We had inadvertently placed ourselves in an ideal position to witness a commemorative ceremony. While the musicians played, I glanced around, taking in the uniformed service people standing at attention. When the last notes sounded, a great roar came from the sky as four military jets approached.
The noise was deafening – I could almost feel the vibrations in my belly, and, as a single plane diverted by flying east, the power of the display was incredibly moving. These people, I thought, these are the truest of Americans. The sacrifices made by our military are shamefully beyond any made by the current occupant of the highest office in our country and I’m so glad that my son and I were there to witness this display and honor them.
Think about it for next year. Fleet Week is a great opportunity to feel genuinely proud of being American.