BUFFALO, N.Y. — If you want to observe the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for our country, you can do so at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.
It will re-open for visitors on Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. with a chance to get a close-up look again at The Sullivans. We want to emphasize that the ship itself will not be open for full tours. But you can go to what is called the fantail on the back or stern of the ship and then go up the gangway to the adjacent USS Little Rock - the bigger cruiser ship.
Then your can also tour again the WW2 submarine the USS Croaker as well. The Croaker itself is getting some rehab work with Bidco using a technique for a foam product to help strengthen the sub's hull and make it more buoyant. They may consider the technology for The Sullivans as well.
Contractors are still at the naval park working on The Sullivans which as you may recall in mid-April took on water listed at a bad angle and then actually the stern sank into the river bottom. But specialized salvage crews and the US Coast Guard were able to refloat the Second World War veteran ship which is 80 years old.
And the rehabilitation work continues to clean it up and fix the hull of the ship. Naval and Military Park CEO Paul Marzello said.
"It's been nearly two months. We've been working on this for six weeks I guess. It's been a long time and a lot of hard work. A lot of people came together to put out a well-thought-out plan and that plan is being executed. So we're in the final stages of that plan from the standpoint of having the ship de-watered and the environmental concerns remediated. So from that standpoint, we're making a lot of progress."
Crews are still doing rehabilitation and decontamination work on the ship. They hope to start patching the hull with divers using epoxy again soon when the water warms up into the 50s.
But in the meantime, this is a good time obviously to tour the park itself - especially on Memorial Day when they will have multiple services and events starting at 10 a.m. You will eventually find more information on their website and Facebook page.
While the ship is stable, they are still working on long-range plans to restore it and make sure it will have a presence for years to come at the Naval Park which again reopens on Saturday.