Ahoy, New Yorkers!
Some 2,600 Navy sailors, Marines and members of the Coast Guard cruised into New York City on more than a dozen vessels Wednesday for the 31st annual Fleet Week — one of the largest in the nation.
"New York has a long history with the Navy going back to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Fleet Week offers the people of New York … that close, personal connection that we don’t always have," said Lt. Eric Durie, a spokesman with the Navy. "It’s basically about building relationships between the Navy and the people of New York."
This year, the USS New York, one of the warships named in tribute to the attacks on 9/11, will make its first return to the city for Fleet Week since 2011. The ship features a bow stem cast from 7-and-a-half tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center.
"It’s a new opportunity for this crew to build a stronger relationship with its namesake city," Durie said.
He added that Fleet Week is a fun moment for all serving members of the military.
"A lot of these sailors have never been to New York City so they’re seeing this great part of our country," Durie said.
Fleet Week also gives the city an opportunity to highlight the city’s waterfront, said Christopher Heywood, a spokesman for NYC & Company, the city’s marketing organization.
"This has been tradition in New York," he said. "It’s really a citywide celebration of maritime culture and connecting to our waterfront and the historical significance of this. It almost feels like a citywide kickoff to summer."
For a list of the concerts, free tours of ships and other Fleet Week events in the city, click here.
Breaking down the nearly 2,600 service members docking in NYC for Fleet Week:
1900 — Navy
400 — Marine Corps
200 — Coast Guard
65 — Royal Canadian Navy