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View Tall Ships In NY Harbor, Reservations Needed

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 on May 23

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, a parade of ships will be sailing into New York Harbor on May 23, beginning at 8 a.m. The Oyster Bay Historical Society and the Post Library Association are sponsoring a trip to the Brooklyn waterfront to view these spectacular sailing vessels.

Interestingly, President Theodore Roosevelt published his first book, The Naval War of 1812, written partly while he was at Harvard. It set the standard for studies in naval strategy and was required reading at Annapolis for many years.

Elizabeth Roosevelt, a cousin of TR, said the book was especially appreciated by the British “because the events were treated fairly. The book is in two volumes, and I have a copy of them.”

From vantage points at Owl’s Head Park and the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, those in attendance will have the opportunity to take in this historic moment. “The U.S. Coast Guard’s Eagle will be leading the parade of ships,” said Ms. Roosevelt, a sailor herself.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, “America’s Tall Ship,” is on its summer training cruise which includes the War of 1812 Bicentennial event in New York. The Eagle will lead a parade of 17 international tall ships and war ships under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and proceed up to the George Washington Bridge. The participating ships are from countries including Indonesia, Spain, Brazil and France.

The ships will be open for public visitation through May 30 in Manhattan near Pier 86,  in Brooklyn at the Port Authority Piers and on Staten Island at the Sullivans Pier [named for the five Sullivan brothers that died in WWII] at Stapleton.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, “The Eagle was built at the Blohm + Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany in 1936, and commissioned as Horst Wessel: it is one of three sail-training ships operated by the pre-World War II German navy. At the close of the war, the ship was taken as a war reparation by the U.S., re-commissioned as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle and sailed to New London, Connecticut, which has been its home port ever since.

Eagle has offered generations of Coast Guard Academy cadets, and more recently officer candidates, an unparalleled leadership experience at sea. The Eagle departed New London, Connecticut for their spring officer candidate training cruise on April 6, where the officer candidates then sailed the Eagle to New Orleans, Louisiana for the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration and OpSail 2012 kick-off event.

“The annual cadet summer training deployment will commence on May 5, when the first phase of cadets embark Eagle in Savannah, Georgia. Participation in New York City Fleet Week, commemorating the penning of the “Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key in Baltimore, and sailing alongside USS Constitution when she gets underway in Boston harbor on the 4th of July are just a few of the summer’s highlights,” announced the Coast Guard.

FYI: The War of 1812 was the first time the United States had to defend itself after its declaration of independence from the British. The war involved several naval victories from the USS Constitution to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s defeat of a British fleet on Lake Erie. Commodore Perry is remembered by his slogan, “Don’t give up the ship.” It was the beginning of congress seeing a need to fund a strong navy.

The day trip to Brooklyn will also include a guided tour of nearby Narrows Botanical Garden, and lunch.

To reserve your place and for more information, please contact Derek Stadler of the LIU-Post, Post Library Association at 299-2892. The fee for the trip is $75. Please note that the library expects a response as soon as possible and by May 9 at the latest.  The bus departs the LIU-Post at 6:45 a.m., and returns at 3 p.m.

You may send a check (payable to the Long Island University) to:

LIU-Post, Attn: Post Library Association
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548.

They ask that you send your check with your name, address and phone number included.