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WWII Armor Museum Opens

In the face of cancelled air shows and the downgrading of NYC’s Fleet Week, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced on May 9, that American soldiers will be forever honored on Long Island through the creation of the Museum of American Armor to be built at Old Bethpage Village Restoration thanks, in part, to a million dollar gift from Lawrence Kadish.

“We are watching powerful tributes to our American military reduced or eliminated across the nation and its just plain wrong,” stated County Executive Mangano. “Fortunately, the Memorial Day weekend air show at Jones Beach will be held regardless of the loss of the Thunderbirds, but Fleet Week in New York City will be greatly diminished and across the country air shows are being cancelled weekly. Nassau County is moving in another direction. An armor museum that honors every American soldier will be created on county property this year which will not only pay tribute to those who have defended our nation but will also strengthen the county’s tourism and destination industry and provide a new source of revenue.”

Joined by veterans, elected officials, living historians, representatives from the nearby American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport and the Cradle of Aviation Museum, County Executive Mangano stated, “The ability to create an armored column that replicates the sights and sounds of American forces during World War II is one of the most compelling educational tools we have to recount the story of our GIs’ courage, valor and sacrifice. Place it in this setting of vintage farmhouses and country roads so reminiscent of the WWII era Normandy countryside, and you have created a virtual time machine that ensures indelible memories for families.

A million dollar gift and heritage tourism

The Museum of American Armor began with a modest display of military vehicles at the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in 2009 and quickly grew to become one of the most important armor collections on public display in the Northeast. It will continue to play an integral role at the American Airpower Museum, but will now have a dedicated location in which to display and operate all of its tanks, armored cars, jeeps and support equipment.  

Lawrence Kadish, founding chairman of the Museum of American Armor, is providing a gift of $1,000,000 towards the creation of the museum.

“Our appreciation of history can be fickle in an age of iPhones, Instagrams, virtual realities and Wikis,” said Kadish. “Our appreciation of our nation’s battles is often ignored; seeing these vehicles rumbling across an open field recreates a moment in time that allows us to fully honor our military and understand what was required of an entire generation whose sacrifices ensured the defeat of brutal enemies seeking world domination.”

Kadish said that the goal of the museum is to bring the sights and sounds of American history to a new generation, and pay tribute to those who have defended freedom.

Heritage tourism has become a significant sector across the country, and Nassau County has an opportunity to grow its share of the market through this effort. A national survey found that heritage travelers who seek to connect with America’s past spend an average of $994 per trip compared to only $611 for other leisure travelers. The study also found heritage travelers are more frequent travelers, reporting an average of 5.01 leisure trips over a 12-month period versus 3.98 trips by non-heritage travelers. They prefer their leisure travel to be educational and they spend more on cultural and heritage activities.

History Channel Historian applauds expansion of history tourism

Chief historian for the History Channel, Dr. Libby O’Connell, stated, “This announcement marks a unique commitment by public and private sectors to preserve and present a seminal chapter in the history of our nation, and our world. It also reflects a commitment to apply a variety of innovative resources to the task of funding the preservation of our history.

By allowing complementary presentations of history within the same space, Nassau County has strategically enhanced the ability of Old Bethpage Village Restoration to be a stronger destination for local residents, tourists and those who live within the tri-state area and beyond.

The arrival of the Museum of American Armor at Old Bethpage Village Restoration will enable a joint marketing program with the nearby American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport and Nassau County’s Cradle of Aviation Museum at Mitchel Field in Garden City.

Joint effort with Airpower Museum and Cradle of Aviation

“Over the last several years we have clearly demonstrated the enormous synergy of air and armor, as tanks and armored cars have created a literal ‘parade of combat vehicles’ down the flight line,” said Jeff Clyman, president of the American Airpower Museum. “Now the whole becomes far greater than the sum of the parts in our presentation of American military history; the ability to base an entire collection of World War II armor in this setting, literally ‘down the road’ from Airpower, will allow for joint programs, national and international marketing and educational efforts unique to the Northeast.”

Plans call for the construction of a 25,000 square foot facility on the grounds of the village. Operational vehicles that will be on public display include the iconic Sherman tank, a Stuart light tank used extensively by the Marines during their Pacific campaigns, a potent 155mm 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.

In addition to World War II programs, tributes will be created to the American service men and women who have served in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, 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.

News

You’d expect volleyball, football and running the mile in gym class, but what about juggling, plate spinning, or riding a unicycle? For the past 30 years, The National Circus Project has been challenging typical notions of gym class by bringing skilled, trained circus artists into schools for performances and week-long workshops.

Every year, the Westbury based nonprofit goes into approximately 350 public and private schools all over the northeast, including a previous visit to Dutch Lane School in Hicksville. Teams of expert circus artists will come into a physical education class for either a day or week-long workshop. Students get a front row seat to a performance by some of the best in the business, as well as hands on experience with traditional circus skills such as juggling, wire walking or acrobatics. Students in the week-long workshop get to perfect a specific skill and show it off during a show at the end of the week for family members.

It’s not just teenagers who connect at the mall. This is the story of four adults who met at the Broadway Mall, a meeting that resulted in a new Indian restaurant in Hicksville called Kwality.

Rosy and Paramjit Sondhi come from New Delhi, live in Hicksville, and have a kiosk at the mall where they sell cell phones. Sonia and Deepu Wadhawan are from New Delhi, live in Hicksville and have a kiosk at the mall where they sell cell phone accessories. Their shops are four stores apart.


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you. They are supposed to help you discover who you are.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

Wednesday, April 9

Hicksville Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary Fashion Show

Friday, April 11

Sarah Grace Night of Laughter

Friday, April 11



Columns

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

Sustainable LI: Getting Good Things Done
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

LI’s ‘Most Prominent Lady In Politics’
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com