The Museum of American Armor, on the grounds of the Old Bethpage Village Restoration at 1303 Round Swamp Rd., is seeking volunteer docents who can help tell visitors the story of its multi-million dollar armor collection and the American soldiers who manned these vehicles during combat to visitors.
The new $5 million museum was dedicated on the 70th anniversary of D-Day by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Congressman Peter King, Assemblyman Charles Lavine, co-State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, museum founder Lawrence Kadish and former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, among others.
Kadish, who donated millions of dollars to create the facility, said commemorating World World II and the G.I.’s that fought is something that all generations should continue to do.
“World War II will continue to fascinate current and future generations because the stark depiction of good versus evil is so dramatic,” said Kadish. “In addition, literally everyone has someone in their family’s history who fought in that war, survived the carnage or was lost during that conflict. Its lessons also remind us that the current War on Terror still demands American courage in the face of relentless evil.”
Yet the armor in and by itself cannot tell the story of the courage, valor and determination of those Americans who have served in combat. That mission belongs to the docents who volunteer at the museum, and the organization is inviting those who have an interest in presenting our military history to contact the museum at 516-454-8265 or visit its website at www.museumofamericanarmor.org.
Operational vehicles on display include the iconic Sherman tank, a Stuart tank used extensively by the Marines during their Pacific campaigns, a potent 155 mm howitzer, reconnaissance vehicles that acted as armored scouts for American forces, anti-aircraft guns and similar weapons that broke the back of the Axis powers during World War II. Other vehicles range from a classic LaSalle staff car in the markings of a Fleet Admiral, to jeeps, weapons carriers and half-tracks.
Beyond World War II programs, tributes are being created to the American service men and women who have served in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terror so that the museum is able to fulfill its mission of honoring America’s defense of freedom throughout the decades.
Hy Horowitz of East Meadow, a Sherman tanker in General Patton’s 7th Armor Division, was among those who liberated the Buchenwald death camp.
“For the last six decades, veterans like me have been retelling the stories of valor and liberation so that, as Americans, we can understand what we did on behalf of humanity,” he said. “It puts our country in perspective and it frames our place in the world. It is now time for a new generation to accept the responsibility of retelling that story so that the world is reminded that America stands for freedom, diversity and democracy.”
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $7 for children ages five through 12 (under 5 are free); and $7 for seniors, volunteer firefighters and veterans. Admission to the armor museum also allows you access to neighboring Old Bethpage Village Restoration.