Honor, Service and Sacrifice Featured at the Lewes Ferry Terminal
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall, Maritime Day Connect this Weekend
LEWES, Del. – The Cape May – Lewes Ferry’s Lewes Terminal will host two significant attractions – the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall and Maritime Day – that honor and recognize the sacrifice and service of our combat soldiers and merchant marine professionals. Sponsored by the “American Legion Family of Post 17” the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall will bring the message of healing, honor, service and sacrifice to the southern Delaware community from Thursday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m. to Monday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m.
The Ferry’s annual Maritime Day celebration – which will include a remembrance ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall – is set for Saturday, May 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall and to Maritime Day activities are free.
“The Ferry is proud to be a part of this unique combination of reflection, remembrance and celebration,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “Lewes has a unique place in the annals of American maritime history and the Ferry is part of that history. The U.S. Merchant Marine has a proud history of supporting our Nation’s military, including during the Vietnam War. We hope the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall can help those who are still impacted by the war to find solace and that others, too young to fully comprehend that era, will learn about the sacrifices and dedication of the men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine and Armed Forces.”
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall is being hosted by the American Legion Family of Post 17 in observance of the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion and to celebrate Armed Forced Day, Saturday, May 18.
The chevron-shaped wall will be located on the Lewes Terminal Green of the Cape May – Lewes Ferry. The Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall is an exhibition featuring a 250-foot scale replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which honors more than 58,000 soldiers who died serving this country in the Vietnam War.
The festival is an interactive way to learn more about our maritime industry and its many vocations. The event will be held rain or shine. Sponsored by the Freedom Boat Club, the 2019 Maritime Day Festival schedule of activities are:
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Interactive Exhibits, Information Booths & Nautical Displays.
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Vessel Tours
11:00 a.m. Remembrance Ceremony during Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall Tribute on Terminal Green
12:00 noon Maritime History Discussions (Bill Manthorpe - The Navy on Cape Henlopen and Dr. Gary D. Wray of Fort Miles Historical Association – “Fort Miles and Maritime History”
1:00 p.m. Life raft inflation demonstration by Ferry personnel
A remembrance ceremony to honor sailors who perished on the Lewes beaches will take place at 11:00 a.m. As part of this ceremony, a wreath will be placed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall to honor the Merchant Marines and Vietnam Veterans. The goal of the ceremony is to honor the merchant marines, our armed forces and the meaning behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall.
For New Jersey customers who want to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall and the Maritime Day activities, park your vehicle for free in the Cape May Terminal lot and board either the 8:30 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. departure for Lewes. “You’ll have plenty of time to tour maritime vessels, survey the exhibits, lunch outside on the boardwalk and enjoy water front views and great food at On the Rocks,” said Yelena Kretova, Lewes Terminal Manager. “Then, catch the 2:45 or 4:15 boat back from Lewes and you’ll be home in time for dinner!”
Some of the day’s exhibitors include the Lighthouse Foundation, Fort Miles Historical Association, Delaware Bay and River Co-op, Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla, Delaware River and Bay Authority, Lightship Overfalls Foundation, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Bowers Beach Maritime Museum, Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, Freedom Boat Club, Cape Water Taxi, American Professional Mariners Association, Bayshore Center at Bivalve, Sea Scouts, and USCG Academy Admissions Partner.
“On the Rocks,” the Cape May – Lewes Ferry’s waterfront eatery, will be open to serve food and beverages.
In 1933, the United States Congress declared May 22 as National Maritime Day. The designation honors the contributions of the American merchant marine – civilians who have defended the freedom of the United States since 1775 and who executed the largest sealift the world has ever known during World War II. Observance of National Maritime Day also honors the maritime industry and the benefits it brings Americans in terms of transportation, jobs, goods, and recreational opportunities. For the past eight years, the Lewes maritime community has observed this national day of remembrance at the Ferry’s Maritime Day festival.
About the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962. The Ferry is open year-round and has carried more than 43 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2017, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.CMLF.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779. Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @CMLFerry.