Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a Marine Corps veteran, is joining the board of the Museum of American Armor.
The museum, previously located at the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, is building its own 25,000-square-foot facility at Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
The new museum is scheduled to open, at least partly, on June 6, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The building was supposed to be dedicated next month, but bad winter weather slowed the work.
“I am proud to be part of an organization that will not only pay tribute to every American who has worn the uniform, but is becoming a destination that will serve as a living, vibrant classroom that keeps alive the courage and valor of our American heritage,” Kelly said.
Kelly is the city’s longest-serving commissioner. He started as a cadet and spent 47 years with the department. He is a Vietnam War combat veteran. After returning home, he joined the Marine Reserves and retired with the rank of colonel.
Kelly also served as director of police under the United Nations Mission in Haiti, and as an Interpol vice president. During the Clinton administration, he served as Treasury Department undersecretary for enforcement. He is now a commentator for ABC News and president of risk management services at Cushman & Wakefield.
Museum founder and president Lawrence Kadish said adding Kelly “underscores the importance of our mission of honoring the past for the purpose of paying tribute to the heroes in our own families as well as serving to remind us all that America continues to face a dangerous world.”
Kelly is joining Kadish, public relations executive Gary Lewi, developers Michael Polimeni and Ed Blumenfeld, title insurance executive Steven Napolitano and Nassau County Republican chairman Joseph Mondello on the board.
The new museum, a public-private partnership with Nassau County and the state of New York, will house more than 25 operational World War II vehicles.