The Vanderbilt Museum will welcome Veterans and Active Duty Service Members and their families as guests and honor them in a ceremony on Friday, November 10, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The Veterans Day weekend celebration includes free admission and access to the Estate grounds, Museum and all exhibits for Veterans and Active Duty Service Members and their families – from Friday, November 10, through Sunday, November 12.
(Veterans’ proof of military service, or Active Duty military ID required for complimentary guest admission.)
The ceremony on Friday will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a flag ceremony with an American Legion color guard. Local troops of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sea Cadets and Daisies will be attending.
After the ceremony, all Veteran and Active Duty guests and families are invited to see a special laser-light show in the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium, and to enjoy free snacks and refreshments immediately following the ceremony. The Mansion, Planetarium and Estate grounds will be open on November 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on November 11 and 12, from 12:00 to 4:00.
Mansion tours will highlight Vanderbilt family participation in military history from the War of 1812 through World War II. William K. Vanderbilt II, an accomplished sailor and yachtsman, served in the Navy as a young man during World War I, and was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the horrific destruction of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought the support of Mr. Vanderbilt to help defend our nation. Mr. Vanderbilt gave his 264-foot yacht, Alva, to the Navy, which converted it to a gunboat, the USS Plymouth. In 1941, the U.S. government had purchased Mr. Vanderbilt’s Sikorsky amphibious plane for wartime duty. The Plymouth was sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat on August 4, 1943. Before the war, his prized yacht, Alva, was often moored near the mansion, in Northport Harbor.