U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato to receive American Heritage Leadership Award from Museum of American Armor at gala December dinner
The Museum of American Armor has announced that U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato will be the recipient of its American Heritage Leadership Award to be presented this December 3rd when he is the honoree at the museum’s gala dinner to be held at its facility on the grounds of Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Old Bethpage.
“I am accepting this honor on behalf of American soldiers throughout the years who have defended our nation’s freedoms,” Senator D’Amato stated. “The Museum of American Armor has become a powerful living tribute to the courage of our citizen soldiers and I am privileged to play a role in ensuring it can continue to fulfill its mission.”
For Senator D’Amato the historic connection is real, personal and still very much part of his family’s heritage. He father was a World War II veteran and his mom a “Rosie the Riveter,” having worked in defense plants during that conflict.
“My parents were part of that `Greatest Generation’ and their story still speaks to us. However our nation is in danger of losing its connection to that era and with it the enormous lessons that still speak to us.
Honorary Dinner chairmen Peter S. Kalikow said, “Americans continue to struggle with their history literacy. Tests and surveys reveal a stunning disconnect to our nation’s heritage, the lessons learned and how our future is being shaped by our past. This museum seeks to address part of that deficit and I am delighted that Senator D’Amato is being recognized for his role in supporting this institution.”
In a letter to the gathering, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer stated, “Since its foundation the museum has worked tireless to educate students in our community about the sacrifice, valor and honor that our Second World War veterans displayed while serving overseas. The museum’s partnership with the Long Island Council for the Social Studies demonstrates its dedication to our heritage. Senator D’Amato has a long history of public service…He has my wholehearted congratulations on receiving this honor.”
Museum trustee and former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly stated, “Senator D’Amato has consistently demonstrated in word and deed his commitment to a strong American military. He is uniquely qualified to receive this award from the Museum of American Armor as he knows full well no democracy, least of all ours, can afford to forget its military heritage or sacrifices required to protect our freedoms.”
An intergenerational education center
Operational vehicles on public 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, the tank transporter nicknamed “the Dragon Wagon,” 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. Also on operational view is a massive M48 Patton tank used by the Israelis during the fierce Yom Kippur War of 1973.
Beyond World War II programs, tributes have been held 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.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission is $10, adults; $7, children 5 – 12 (under 5 are free); and $7, seniors, volunteer firefighters and veterans. Admission to the armor museum also allows you access to Old Bethpage Village Restoration.