The U.S. Fleet Week has kicked off with a parade of ships, including patrol, destroyer and assault vessels that pulled into New York Harbor.
The U.S. Garrison Fort Hamilton base held a salute to the ships on Wednesday. The USS Kearsarge amphibious assault ship carried out a seven-gun salute to Fort Hamilton, which replied with a 15-gun salute.
“New York has always had a close relationship with the ,” Anthony Giovinco, U.S. Vietnam veteran and chief of staff and secretary of the United Veterans of Kings County Memorial Day Parade, said in a statement. “The sailors, and Coast Guardsmen are treated very well here. This is a tradition that is important to me. It brings back fond memories of the years I spent in the .”
The USS Kearsarge was accompanied by vessels including the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen; the Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Monterey and USS San Jacinto; and Canada’s Kingston-class coastal defense vessel HMCS Glace Bay, among others.
“Fleet Week New York is a way for the general public to view and experience the maritime sea services while allowing us to show our appreciation for our Sailors, and Coast Guardsmen,” U.S. Spc. Tanner Butler, who is assigned to Fort Hamilton, said. “I feel, that since 9/11, it is really important for the people of New York to experience these things and to remember that our fellow Sailors, and Coast Guardsmen are there for us.”
New York City residents can inspect the vessels while service members are allowed to roam the city and enjoy perks such as free subway rides and baseball tickets. About 4,000 sailors, and Coast Guardsmen are anticipated to participate this year. There will be a special screening of the 1986 film Top Gun in New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
“Fleet Week New York, now in its 29th year, is the city’s time-honored celebration of the sea service,” the said in a statement. “It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet sailors, and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services. The weeklong celebration has been held nearly every year since 1984.”
In 2013, the canceled Fleet Week due to spending cuts amid a sequester. The event would have cost the an estimated $10 million, while the New York City metropolitan area lost an estimated $20 million in revenue.