So last Sunday the man and I were sitting down to make pancakes for Sunday breakfast around 12ish. Than he said something about the Intrepid which prompted me to Google it and I found out it was Fire and EMS appreciation weekend!! I was rather excited since I know the Man loves military history and we normally would not have gone to the Museum because of the entrance fee. However, since we are both EMTs, we got in for free!! Needless to say we launched into hyper-drive in order to get downtown as quickly as possible. We were at the Intrepid by 2pm (it closed at 6pm).
We were excited to see a whole array of FDNY vehicles set up for the public to explore. We walked through the MERV (Major Emergency Response Vehicle) and through one of the FDNY fire boats.
Some interesting facts about the boat. It was designed to handle any type of emergency, including chemical or biological. It also has a response area that far exceeds the realm of NYC since it is such an advanced boat- it received large amounts of federal funding so it has a response area of up to Canadian border and down past D.C.
Than it was onto the Intrepid. We started with the top deck of the Intrepid where they have a number of airplanes on display.I am not the biggest fan of military history but I did focus heavily on American history when in university so I do love all the history available in a museum such as this.
Than it was moving down a bit to check out some of the weapons on the side of the Intrepid.
The memorial wall has light-up names on it because when they show the Kamikaze movie and display they highlight the names of the people who lost their lives when the Intrepid suffered two kamikaze hits. The Intrepid was subject to constant attacks from Kamikaze pilots but sustained direct hits twice. It went back into service after both attacks. The display also said it scared many Japanese fighters since it seemed it was the ship that would not sink.
It was interesting to see the distinction in the sleeping and living quarters based on rank. The enlisted crew had very cramped quarters. I know I would have had major anxiety attacks. I am prone to claustrophobia.
They had a new display set up that discussed the effort women made towards the war effort. It focused on the different war jobs women took up to keep the economy running at a heightened war production level and the steps that women could take in their homes and daily lives to support the war effort. It also encouraged women to make sure they were not complaining when they were corresponding with their sons and husbands who were on the front lines. They were told that their complaining would dishearten and distract men from their battlefield mentality.
This museum is an amazing amount of history. To me it seems rather different than the history you get in a art museum or a museum like the natural history museums. I think this feeling comes from the fact that you are walking down the same corridors and standing in the spaces that thousands of servicemen stood in. For example, in the Kamikaze exhibit they tell you if you had been standing in that exact spot the day they suffered their first Kamikaze attack, that you would have been killed. That is a powerful thought to think about.
The Intrepid also had a submarine that was available for touring. However, at the end of the day it had a very long line and we decided to pass on seeing it. That made me happy because I was planning on skipping it either way (see the above claustrophobia comment) .
I especially loved the space displays inside the Intrepid. When I was younger, I knew the names of all the astronauts on ALL the Apollo missions. I knew the years that all the huge leaps in the Space Race were made. I wanted to be an astronaut in the worse way. I knew very few other eleven year old girls who had Apollo 13 as their favorite movie.
All in all, it was a wonderful day of history and learning. It was gorgeous day (maybe a little warm) but great day to be outside and enjoying the sights of one of the most unique museums NYC has to offer.