A great way to celebrate the contributions of military members past and present is with a visit to Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant.
Last month, Patriots Point unveiled a new mascot, Scrappy. The dog mascot was created in honor of a real dog that lived aboard the USS Yorktown for a year when the aircraft carrier was in service during WWII in the South Pacific.
According to Patriots Point, Scrappy was roaming the docks of Pearl Harbor alone when the ship pulled in to port in 1943. Yorktown sailors spotted the dog and smuggled him aboard the ship in a trash can, knowing that the ship’s captain Jocko Clark would not approve of having an animal aboard. The little gray Airedale Terrier’s real name was Scrapper Shrapnel, but most called him by the nickname “Scrappy.” The crew had a small life vest and helmet made for him. With Scrappy aboard, the tensions of warfare were eased.
As we approach Veterans Day, it’s the perfect time to tour the USS Yorktown and take part in some special Veterans Day events.
The Veterans Day celebration begins at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 11 in the Smokey Stover Theater on the USS Yorktown with a symposium featuring Bee Haydu, a WWII WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilot). The WASP program was created in 1942 to free up male pilots so they could fly combat missions. These female pilots broke the glass ceiling for women in aviation, though their battle was long and tough. The WASPs were not considered military until 1977 when they were granted veteran status. Prior to that, a fallen WASP was not granted traditional military honors or allowed to have the U.S. flag placed on her coffin.
Following the symposium, the U.S. Naval Academy Women’s Glee Club will perform in Hangar Bay 3. Other highlights include the unveiling of the Medal of Honor postage stamp by the US Postal Service and a birthday celebration of six Patriots Point volunteers, all WWII veterans, who are 90 or older. The Veterans Day celebration will be streamed live into Charleston County public school classrooms and available for viewing on www.patriotspoint.org. Veterans and their families will be admitted free of charge throughout the day at Patriots Point.
Patriots Point is open 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. On Sunday, Nov. 10, visitors can sit in the cockpit of the aircraft from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open Cockpit Sunday is included in the price of admission.