NEW YORK – Some 6,000 men and women in uniform have arrived in New York for the city’s 25th annual Fleet Week, a yearly celebration of military ships and the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel who serve on them, CBS News reported.
“This is going to be a larger Fleet Week than we’ve seen in decades,” William Armstrong, spokesman for sailing event coordinator Operation Sail Inc., told New York Daily News.
Servicemen and servicewomen in uniform raise the visibility of the US military as they sightsee and club-hop in the Big Apple, and the public gets an opportunity to visit their ships and watch flyovers and other military demonstrations throughout the week, according to CBS News.
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The event kicked off this morning with a parade of 17 tall ships and 10 warships from around the world through the New York Harbor, past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson River, New York Daily News reported.
The military ships, including vessels from Japan, Canada, Finland and the UK, will be docked around the city during the week, the Associated Press reported. US Navy vessels on show include guided-missile destroyers and the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, according to the AP.
Mike Hallahan, a former Intrepid crew member, told CBS News that Fleet Week also gives New Yorkers a peek into their city’s past. “At one time, this whole river was full of these ships,” he said. “Most of service members don’t wear uniforms, but they have to for Fleet Week. That’s the way old New York used to look.”
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