MOUNT PLEASANT, SC
Patriots Point | Mount Pleasant, SC
The Fighting Lady
The USS YORKTOWN began as an Essex-class aircraft carrier, serving as a proud symbol of our nation’s unyielding patriotism. By the 1970s, she was decommissioned and became the center of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, educating the public to the extensive history surrounding the U.S. Navy. She was soon joined by two additional historic vessels, Vietnam Naval Support Base, Cold War Memorial, and the National Congressional Medal of Honor headquarters and museum. Now, some 300,000 visitors come to Patriots Point each year and, to meet their evolving interests, the Museum has begun integrating more interactive exhibits and technologically cutting-edge components to become an even more compelling attraction for new and repeat visitors.
Launched in October 2013, The USS LAFFEY Mount 53 Experience is the first of many virtual reality enhancements at the Museum. This new exhibit allows all generations to experience what is was like for the brave men serving inside the gun mount of the ship during a devastating, historical kamikaze attack through sounds, video and vibrations. A visit is guaranteed to stir our souls with renewed patriotism, and light our imaginations.
Inspiring a new generation of heroes, Patriots Point also is unveiling a new program that integrates immersive virtual reality and game play with innovative real-world missions. Patriots Point’s Aviation in Residence Flight Academy is the newest addition to the overnight youth program offered aboard the YORKTOWN. Using standards-based curricula, youngsters can hone their leadership skills while sharpening their knowledge of math and science. More than 500,000 school-aged children have camped here. Forty thousand children attend the education programs each year. Trip Advisor has given it an overall Certificate of Excellence and the accolades continue. There are unique educational programs for children from 3rd-8th grade, and for adults of all ages. Plan a visit to Patriots Point this year, and take the whole family. It will change you and those you love.
WOW Factor: Patriots Point was recently named a commemorative partner with the U.S.A. Vietnam War Commemoration. Soon, The Vietnam Naval Support Base Camp already on site will be substantially renovated and expanded for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War beginning in 2015. The new Vietnam Experience is projected to include interactive foxholes, a command tower with a searchlight, and a simulated Firebase area with sounds of gunfire and helicopters.
Another new highlight at Patriots Point will be the relocation and expansion of a new Medal of Honor Museum. Upon completion, the national museum will be located along a prominent waterfront area at the entrance to Patriots Point. The Academy Award-winning documentary, The Fighting Lady, is shown in the ship’s theatre daily. The Laffey, known as “The Ship that would not Die,” is a remarkable memorial and tribute to the brave crew who kept fighting the Japanese bombers and kamikaze aircraft. The Medal of Honor Society honors remarkable heroes, including Audie Murphy, Sergeant Alvin York, and pilot Jimmy Doolittle. Everywhere you turn, you see history, witness courage in action, and learn the personal stories of those who fought for the United States.
Hint: Comfortable shoes, of course, and begin early in the morning. In the middle of the summer, the Lowcountry can be hot. When you visit, keep an eye out for Scrappy, their new canine mascot. The children will love him.
Learn more: www.patriotspoint.org