PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND LAURA BUSH ATTEND VETERANS DAY CEREMONIES AT THE INTREPID MUSEUM
Trey Ditto, Rubenstein Associates, (212) 843-8063 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jody Fisher, Rubenstein Associates, (212) 843-8296 email@example.com
For Immediate Release
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH ATTEND VETERANS DAY CEREMONIES AT THE INTREPID SEA, AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
Intrepid Freedom Award Presented to President Bush
(New York, NY, November 11, 2008) – The leadership of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum presented President George W. Bush with the Intrepid Freedom Award today during the Museum’s Veterans Day ceremonies in New York, which were part of the Museum’s re-opening festivities after a two year refurbishment.
The award recognizes world leaders who embody the ideals of world freedom and democracy. Prior honorees include Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton, Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Margaret Thatcher and Silvio Berlusconi and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Intrepid Museum co-chairmen Charles de Gunzburg and Richard Santulli presented the President with the award.
In addition to President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, among the guests and speakers who attended the Veterans Day ceremonies were New York State Governor David Paterson, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk A. Kempthorne, Congressman Charles B. Rangel, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and former NASA Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Scott Carpenter.
“We are deeply humbled that the Commander-in-Chief visited the Intrepid on Veterans Day and accepted the Intrepid Freedom Award,” said Charles de Gunzburg, Intrepid Museum co-chairman. “We are thrilled because this is the second time that a sitting President has visited us.”
“The President’s visit says a great deal about the importance of Intrepid’s mission to support and honor our heroes – our troops and their families,” said Richard Santulli, Intrepid Museum co-chairman.
President Bush also paid tribute to all who have served our country in uniform through the generations, and thanked our veterans for what they have done to keep our country safe and our liberty secure throughout our history.
The President also talked about the new generation of Americans serving in uniform today, including five outstanding service members, one from each branch of the armed forces, who flew up with him and the First Lady to New York. He spoke of the responsibility our nation has to support our veterans and their families, highlighting both some of the steps his administration has taken and also the work of private charities like the Intrepid Relief Fund and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
The Intrepid Veterans Day ceremony included numerous other highlights, including performances by the USMC Drum and Bugle Corps and a laying of a ceremonial wreath in honor of American veterans by President Bush, assisted by Buzz Aldrin and Scott Carpenter. In addition, the Intrepid was re-christened by the First Lady and assisted by Mrs. Sally Hoover Casale, whose grandmother first christened the ship in 1943.
“Veterans Day is one of our country’s most important holidays,” said Bill White, President, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.” “We owe our troops our deepest gratitude and respect for their service and sacrifice for our freedoms.”
An estimated 5,000 guests including 2,500 veterans were on site at Pier 86, the home of the Intrepid, for today’s special event. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the veterans marched from the Intrepid to 42nd Street and 5th Avenue to join with other veterans in New York’s annual Veterans Day Parade.
Later this evening, three iconic NYC buildings – The Empire State Building, the Citicorp Center, and the Woolworth Building - will be lit red, white, and blue in tribute to the re-opening of the Intrepid Museum and for Veterans Day. And, at 11:00 pm, those buildings as well as the George Washington Bridge, Triborough Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, will turn off their lights for an hour in honor of those who have lost their lives in service to our country.
About the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
One of the world's largest maritime museums, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is housed aboard the 900-foot-long ESSEX class aircraft carrier Intrepid, which saw service during World War II, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. It also served as a prime recovery vessel for NASA during the Mercury and Gemini space programs before it was retired in 1974. Four years later, Zachary Fisher established the Intrepid Museum Foundation for the sole purpose of "saving the Intrepid for generations to come." Listed in the National Park Service’s National Historic Landmark register, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum was opened as a symbol of peace and education in August 1982. The Intrepid underwent extensive renovations for nearly two years and returned to its home at Pier 86 in October 2008. Prior to leaving its home on the Hudson River at West 46th Street, the Intrepid attracted more than 750,000 people each year from around the world, from children to senior citizens and world leaders. It also hosted more than 150 special events, and served as a focal point during New York’s annual Fleet Week celebration. The Intrepid produces a wide range of public programming, and is recognized worldwide as an historic icon that makes history come alive for visitors through its unforgettable series of dynamic and interactive exhibits. For more information, and to purchase tickets visit www.intrepidmuseum.org.