Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

The debut of the North Carolina Symphony’s 2015 Summerfest series in Cary, a celebration of the Bull City’s vibrant history and culture in Durham and Memorial Day remembrances in New Bern and Wilmington are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources this weekend.

1. Celebrate Memorial Day with an outdoor concert of all-American music performed by the N.C. Symphony in Cary Saturday.

2. Greet re-enactor Philip Brown as he arrives in Durham after his 166-mile walk from New Bern, and celebrate the history and culture of Durham with crafts, historical dance lessons, food and live music at Duke Homestead’s annual Bullfest Saturday.

3. Reflect on the sacrifices our nation’s service members have made during a Memorial Day Observance aboard the Battleship North Carolina Monday in Wilmington.
4. Dance along to the smooth pop sound of Lake Street Dive during the N.C. Museum of Art’s first outdoor concert of summer Saturday in Raleigh.
5. See interpreters representing soldiers from every conflict in American history as Durham‘s Bennett Place commemorates Memorial Day Saturday and Sunday.
6. Join the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem for “A Downtown Abbey Evening” Thursday, featuring music, drinks and food inspired by the hit show.
7. Hear the music of jazz greats at Tryon Palace in New Bern Thursday.
8. Discover the interesting history of coastal communication at a new exhibit at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras.

9. Go on a bike ride through Southport‘s history with the N.C. Maritime Museum there Saturday.

10. Take advantage of your day off Monday by visiting the N.C. Museum of History’s Starring, North Carolina! exhibit in Raleigh.

11. Hike through the history of the Shackleford Banks with the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort Thursday.

12. Enjoy Tryon Palace’s beautiful historic buildings and gardens in New Bern on Memorial Day Monday, when military members and veterans get free admission and their families get discounts.

13. Join the N.C. Transportation Museum for a day of kids’ activities, trains rides and more to celebrate the send off of #611 locomotive.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

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Sec. Kluttz speaks at the Battleship’s Memorial Day celebration

This Memorial Day, Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz, Governor Pat McCrory and several other members of his Cabinet joined Battleship North Carolina Executive Director Captain Terry Bragg and a crowd of hundreds to pay their respects to those who have served our country throughout the years.

Secretary Kluttz introduced Governor Pat McCrory, who spoke to the importance of military members and their contribution to North Carolina’s security and economy.

After an emotional commemorative ceremony complete with musical arrangements from a military band and a keynote address by Brig. Gen. Robert F. Castellvi, the top commander at Camp Lejeune, the Secretary, Gov. McCrory, Capt. Bragg and members of the Battleship North Carolina Commission received a check from the State Employees Credit Union Foundation, which pledged $3 million to build a memorial walkway around the ship.

See photos of the day’s activities in the Wilmington Star-News and on the Governor’s Flickr site.

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Join the N.C. Symphony in Cary as it kicks off its Summerfest
series with Beethoven’s 5th Saturday.

Comedic tours of SECCA’s newest exhibition in Winston-Salem, a dramatic performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in Cary and a stunning display of fireworks and music aboard a World War II Battleship in Wilmington are just of a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend kicks off Thursday, when staff from the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will read kids a tall tale after taking a short tour of one of the museum’s wonderful galleries, while the James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville will come alive with the sights and smells of early 19th century cooking. In Winston-Salem, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) will kick off a new series of special comedian-led tours of the Eric Fertman: A Comic Turn exhibition.

The next day, Somerset Place in Creswell will celebrate the reopening of the beautiful antebellum Collins House, while that evening the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will offer visitors the chance to wander through its galleries at night against the backdrop of the smooth country sounds of David Dyer & The Crooked Smile Band. After dark, Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead will host a meteor shower viewing party and camp out.

Saturday, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport will host bike tours of its hometown, leading visitors through the live oak-canopied streets while incorporating local history into the ride, and the N.C. Smyphony will kick off its 2014 Summerfest series in Cary with one of the most powerful pieces of music ever written, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Saturday is also your last chance to see the Queen Anne’s Revenge traveling exhibit at Aycock Birthplace in Fremont. Both Saturday and Sunday, visitors to Bennett Place in Durham can join living historians interpreters portraying American soldiers throughout history to learn more about their experiences and see what they looked like.

The holiday weekend wraps up Monday with fireworks, military music and more aboard the Battleship North Carolina at its emotional remembrance ceremony in Wilmington and a day of free admission for military members and veterans at Tryon Place in New Bern. Keep in mind that the rest of our historic sites, museums and other venues will be closed in observance of the holiday Monday.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend! You can also sign up to get these events in your email on the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources website.

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Photo from Matt Born/ Wilmington Star-News

Late last month Sec. Susan Kluttz joined Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest and local officials aboard the Battleship North Carolina to honor veterans for Memorial Day. The day’s activities included in memoriam remarks from Rear Admiral Steven H. Ratti, Commander of Fifth Coast Guard District and military musical arrangements by the 440th NC Army National Guard Band. The celebration was the ship’s 48th annual Memorial Day event.

While in Wilmington the secretary also attended one of the three annual meetings of the USS North Carolina Battleship Commission of which she is a member.

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Memorial Day has always been a curious commemoration to me.  Once a solemn day of remembrance of those who have died in service to the United States, it is now the unofficial start of summer—with many people equating Memorial Day with a trip to the beach.  If you are going to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the holiday weekend, you can actually restore some of the original meaning of the observance at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras.

There is an extraordinary artifact on display at the Museum called an Enigma machine.  This very machine was aboard a German sub that was sunk off the North Carolina coast by the U.S. Navy in 1942.  The Germans used this complex coding device for secret communications, particularly in divulging locations of enemy vessels and supply convoys.    There is a fascinating behind the scenes story, too.

While most people know that lots of ships have been lost in the treacherous shoals off the Outer Banks, not that many realize that during World Wars I and II, German U-boats (submarines) patrolled the North Carolina coast wreaking havoc on ships that they encountered.  The worst time for the attacks was January to July of 1942.  At the beginning of the war, Germans had sophisticated submarines and highly trained crews, whereas the United States military had not put much emphasis on undersea warfare.

By January of 1942 there were about 19 German U-boats patrolling the Atlantic coastline—with 2 or 3 at any given time hiding at Diamond Shoals to attack ships as they rounded Cape Hatteras.  At the height of what has come to be known as the Battle of Torpedo Junction, the Germans were sinking a ship almost every day—freighters, tankers, passenger ships—the losses were tremendous.

The American military was, of course, hard at work learning how to detect and defeat the U-boats.  Their first hit came April 14, 1942, when the destroyer USS Roper sank U-85 off of the Outer Banks between Wimble Shoals and Cape Hatteras.  Navy divers surveyed and attempted to salvage the U-85 for about a week, but efforts were not very successful and, with a war on, the men were needed elsewhere.  The submarine was left to the elements.

The U-boat wreck was explored by recreational divers for many years.  In July of 2001 divers salvaged the submarine’s Enigma machine.  Although it is still being conserved, the stable parts are on display.  The Enigma machine, which is on indefinite loan to the Museum by the German government, presents an incredible opportunity to get a peek at a super-secret World War II weapon while visiting the scenic Outer Banks—an ideal blend of Memorial Day observance and the beach.  For more about the recovery and conservation of the Enigma machine, click here.

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