The Battleship Iowa in San Pedro will be festooned with dockside displays and U.S. flags on Wednesday, Nov. 11, when a Veterans Day care package distribution and virtual concert are planned.
Between 5 and 7 p.m., care packages will be distributed to veterans in a drive-up event next to the ship at 250 S. Harbor Blvd. Packages will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis and will include practical items as well as thank-you gifts to support those veterans in need during the ongoing pandemic.
A free online concert — “United We Stand — Stronger Together” — will be presented at 7:30 p.m. featuring U.S. military veteran performers singing popular songs that celebrate unity, togetherness and friendship. Salutes will be made by several celebrities including Rich Little and Tanya Acker. The program will be hosted by comedian BJ Lange, U.S. Air Force (retired).
The concert can be viewed on the websites and social media pages of the Battleship Iowa, and the Veterans National Entertainment Workshop – VNEW
Also near the ship is a display for plans to create the National Museum of the Surface Navy onboard the World War II battleship.
A congressional bill to establish the museum was introduced in Congress on Sept. 25 and received support on Oct. 13 from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Fundraising for the museum is ongoing; the museum is estimated to cost about $60 million and would be combined with a move of the battleship to the Southern Pacific Slip, where it would be closer to the new West Harbor waterfront development, which is set to open in 2022.
Plans call for the first phase of the museum to be unveiled in 2023 with a completion date in 2030.
There is currently no museum dedicated to the Surface Navy, which takes the military ships that travel across the top of the ocean, used in war and trade but also for humanitarian relief.
The museum would be developed on a deck of the refurbished battleship that has been a top tourist attraction in San Pedro since 2012. The ship currently is open for outdoor tours only.