Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Drewry's Bluff Weekend Recap

The Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial/Hampton Roads Naval Museum was in attendance at this past weekend's sesquicentennial commemoration at Drewry's Bluff.  Over 500 people came and visited our exhibit display, which included several different Special Edition Civil War Navy Daybooks, USS Alligator and Monitor posters, Blacks in Blue Jackets pamphlets, and other educational material for guests to enjoy.  It was wonderful weather on Saturday and Sunday for a slew of events, programs, lectures, and activities around the Fort and inside the eeducational tent. 

For me, the highlight of the weekend was the Saturday morning sign dedication for the USS Monitor and Confederate Marines.  It was an honor to speak at that event, and to introduce Lieutanant (junior grade) Martin K. Dineen from PCU Arlington (LPD-24).   LT Dineen spoke of the legacy of the Monitor and its significance in his own service as navigation officer on Arlington.  Dave Alberg, Superintendent of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary spoke on the discovery and recovery of the famous ironclad ship, touching on some upcoming developments in its conservation.  The wayside marker will be located on the bluffs onlooking the site where the ship moved into position to protect the ironclad Galena 150 years ago. 

Our exhibit was located in the USMC Historical Co. Tent.  Thank you Gunnery SGT Tom Williams for allowing us to use the space at the end of the tent.  It was much appreciated!  We were also delighted to talk with volunteer docents from the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  It is always fun to hear the playful banter of Navy and Marine Corps museums working side by side!  Needless to say, those gentlemen were a pleasure to work with for the weekend.  It was also Mother's Day on Sunday, so on behalf of the CWN 150 I would like to say thank you to all the mothers past, present, and future: without you, there would have been no sailors during the war to commemorate today!

Once again, we had our LEGO models of the Monitor and the Virginia out for display.  Each model was situated next to a professional model of each ship, adding to the fun and excitement of building each one.  Needless to say, they were a big hit with the kids (and more so with the adults!).  These instructions are available on the HRNM Educational Resources website.  If you at Drewry's this weekend, you probably heard me talking at our exhibit about the newest ironclad LEGO model: the USS Galena.  To show you I wasn't kidding, here is a pic of the development:
USS Galena  LEGO Digital Model Development (TBA)
It will hopefully be complete with instructions in upcoming months.  The initiative is part of the HRNM Program: Brick by Brick LEGO Shipbuilding, which has free ship buildings instructions available for FREE download HERE

Make sure to go to the Richmond National Battlefield Park Facebook Page to look at all the fantastic images that were capture from this weekend's activities.  NPS Ranger Jason Martz did a fantastic job capturing the event on camera.  Stay tuned for the Civil War Monitor cross-postings on Drewry's Bluff (Iron Men Afloat) tomorrow. 
Laura Orr Talks with Marine Living History Volunteer at USMC Historical Co. Tent (Eng)
Again, I want to give a special thank you to all the NPS Staff involved with helping Laura and I this weekend and making the sign dedication.  The official Drewry's Bluff Ceremony ("Honoring Service: Commemorating the Battle of Drewry's Bluff") will be (weather permitting) tomorrow at 6:00 at the NPS site.

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