Paying Tribute to the People Who Took Aviation
from the Flight Deck of a Navy Carrier to Man's First Steps on the Moon
January 21, 2000
Monday, November 29th our board of directors, advisory board, Local politicians and others were on site for the official groundbreaking of the phase one memorial park. Chairman Steve Kirschenbaum gave a heartfelt speech and introduced the dignitaries and officials. On site was Bruce Kloette of Civil Air Patrol donned in an authentic Apollo space suit to take the symbolic first shovel of dirt at the future home of Grumman Memorial Park.
Phase one which is already under construction is a one acre site directly abutting our 9 acre expansion area, next to the former Grumman flight test facilities 10,000 ft runway. The initial one acre site will feature the F-14 Tomcat we recently acquired from the Navy on a pedestal, surrounded by the Grumman Walk of Honor in a landscaped setting with a parking area and a brick look up data base. GMP director Jim Petrocelli partner in a major LI construction firm has taken on the task of overseeing construction on site.
Presently our property is cleared, graded and our forms are ready to pour concrete once the weather breaks. Our temporary office trailer is on site as well as our separate entrance to the site and our new perimeter security fence. The money keeps coming in and we thank all of you for your most generous donations. Treasurer and ex Deputy VP of engineering for Grumman's aerospace division Joe Van de Wetering is diligently reviewing all inscriptions for all bricks on site as well as designing a landscape plan for the park. Joe is working hand and hand with former F-14 engineer Chris Dittmeier to design the database for brick look up at the Calverton site.
Directors Ken Euring and John Caruso are spending numerous long hours preparing the F-14 for long term out door display. This included fitting all weapon stations, external fuel tanks and fixing all moveable surfaces.
We still need volunteers to help us fabricate the sidewinders, AIM 54s and Sparrows. for those of you interested this could be an at home project.
Call us for details at 631 369-9488. The date is not yet firm but we are hoping for a Memorial Day 2000 unveiling of phase one. Keep up the good work and get the word out we need help and support both financial and physical.
Thanks for everything,