There are historic moments that are so symbolic, that the Chief of Naval Operations will task a U.S. Navy Band to honor the event by providing solemn and ceremonial music. On August 16, 2018, Navy Band Northeast was proud to support the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, the city of New York, and 342 former crewmembers of the USS Intrepid as they celebrated the 75th anniversary of the commissioning of USS Intrepid. Navy Band Northeast’s Ceremonial Band entertained the 1000+-member audience with popular military marches during two separate engagements and presented a stellar rendition of our National Anthem. The emotional center of the ceremony was observed when Musician Second Class (Surface Warfare) Edward Reid rendered a solemn, flawless performance of “Taps,” in recognition of the Sailors of USS Intrepid who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation. Navy Band Northeast’s presence and musical contribution ensured that the solemn ceremony received unmatched honor and reverence and represented the U.S. Naval War College and Naval Station Newport honorably.
Nicknamed “The Fighting I,” the name “Intrepid” is synonymous with the heroism and resiliency of every crewmember that manned the rails over her 31-year lifespan. The keel of the Essex Class aircraft carrier was laid in 1941 just six days before the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor. By the conclusion of World War II, the Intrepid would survive five kamikaze attacks and a crippling torpedo hit while supporting operations in the Pacific Theater. During Vietnam, Navy pilot and late Senator John McCain served on board the Intrepid before being captured and held as a prisoner of war. After a completing modernization re-fits, she continued service during the Cold War, serving as an anti-submarine warfare carrier, and then as a NASA recovery vessel for both the Mercury-Atlas 7 and Gemini 3 missions. She was ultimately decommissioned in 1974, and she continued to serve as the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in 1982 at Pier 86 along the Hudson River in downtown New York City. It was here that Navy Band Northeast helped honor the sacrifice and service of those 342 former crewmembers that gathered with friends and family to once more tell the story of the hallowed aircraft carrier, and remember their own role in protecting our nation during decades of uncertainty against innumerable adversaries. Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John M. Richardson takes a photo opportunity with the Sailors of Navy Band Northeast. (Photo by MCC Elliott Fabrizio)