Memorial Day weekend coincides with Fleet Week, the city’s celebration of the sea services. Numerous U.S. Navy ships are put into New York Harbor from Wednesday, May 26 to June 2. Thousands of sailors and U.S. Marines (along with hundreds of Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Army and Air Force personnel) will be getting the kind of welcome that only the greatest Liberty Port in the universe can provide.
While many of our town’s tourist institutions will be giving our men and women in uniform special treatment – NY Waterway is providing free commuter ferry service and sightseeing tours for all active duty military personnel and veterans – city cultural institutions are also throwing their doors open to those who wear (or wore) the country’s uniform.
In Queens, these include the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives in Long Island City; American Museum of the Moving Image and Isamu Noguchi Museum and Sculpture Garden in Astoria; Bowne House Historical Society in Flushing and the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Douglaston.
All that’s needed is proof of current or former military service – such as discharge papers (e.g. DD-214 or DD-215); active or reservist military ID card; retiree or dependent military ID card; Veterans Identification Card or VA letterhead confirming service and veteran status; dog tags or government-issued photo identifications that indicate military service.
The city has approximately 240,000 veterans who will be eligible to participate in this first ever free cultural weekend, according to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
“We are pleased that so many museums and heritage organizations are opening their doors to America’s service men and women,” said John Haworth, President of the Museums Association of New York.
The U.S. Navy Band and Marine detachments will reciprocate, with performances, demonstrations and ship tours throughout the week.
The multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7); guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58); frigate USS De Wert (FFG 45); patrol coastal ships USS Tempest (PC 2), USS Monsoon (PC 4), USS Squall (PC 7); the guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95); U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katherine Walker and the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan (DDH 282) will be berthed in either Manhattan or Staten Island.
For more information about fleet week activities and offers visit these web sites: