November 11 offers all Americans a chance to say “Thank you!” to those who have bravely served our country and maintained our freedoms. Many towns throughout the state host ceremonies, parties and parades to honor those who have served in the armed forces so courageously. But another great way to celebrate is to visit on of the many military museums in NJ.
For those who wish to honor and pay respects to local veterans, while learning a bit more about New Jersey’s military past, here are the best NJ military museums around.
Naval Air Station, Wildwood
If the little ones in the family love all things airplanes, this museum is for you! Located at the Cape May Airport in Hangar 1, this museum showcases naval aircraft used in World War II. The jets and helicopters are the main exhibits on display, but visitors can also experience what it’s like to be an air traffic controller, test out their piloting skills in a simulator and see photographs and artifacts of naval aircraft history.
The museum is open on Veterans Day from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission to the museum is $12 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-to-12 and free for both children under 3 and active duty military with an ID. For more info, call 609-886-8787 or visit their website.
Battleship New Jersey, Camden
Battleship New Jersey is the most decorated battleship in U.S. Navy history. The USS New Jersey, or BB62, is docked on the Camden waterfront and offers self-guided tours daily. During the Fire Power tour, visitors can explore two decks below and five upper levels to learn the ship’s history. Artifacts are present throughout the ship that help piece together actual sailor accounts of life onboard the vessel.
On Veterans Day, the ship will serve as a backdrop for the museum’s annual Veterans Day ceremony. Beginning at 11:00 am, the free-to-attend event features speakers and a wreath-laying ceremony. The ship will be open for self-guided tours from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Adult admission for the tour is $21.95, while children from 5-to-11, veterans and senior citizens get in for $17.00. Admission is free for children under 4, active military, World War II veterans and former crew members of the ship. For details, call 856-966-1652 or visit their website.
New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial | Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center, Holmdel
Vietnam veterans are specifically remembered at this museum and monument located in Holmdel. Though the museum focuses on the Vietnam War era of America, exhibits include the Circle of Letters, which aims to communicate the lasting effects of war on both soldiers and loved ones. The memorial side of things offers visitors the chance to reflect and remember those who died during the Vietnam War, specifically the woman and men from New Jersey who never returned home.
The museum and memorial is hosting a Veterans Day ceremony from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm with remarks, a presentation of colors and laying of wreaths. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission to the museum is $7.00, Seniors and students are $5.00 and children under 12, active duty military and veterans are free. To learn more, call 732-335-0033 or visit their website.
Millville Army Air Field Museum, Millville
The Millville Army Air Field Museum is all about flight. After being named America’s First Defense Airport in 1941 by local, state and federal officials, many young pilots flocked to the base for gunnery school. Some of the many exhibits the museum offers include planes of the P-40F Warhawk and P-47 Thunderbolt type. Visitors can also take in exhibits on the Navajo Code Talkers, view photographs of the first women with wings and learn about Max Whitley McClure, a P-47 pilot.
Happy Veterans Day! To those who are part of America’s armed forces, both past and present, we say “Thank You!”