BY JAIME DEJESUS & MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK
The ships once again streamed down the Narrows, starting Wednesday, May 20, as Fleet Week New York celebrated its 27th year on the East Coast.
Following a rare absence in 2013 due to federal cuts, the spectacle returned last year, much to the delight of many Brooklynites (and particularly, Ridgeites) who – year after year – gather along the Shore Road waterfront and head to Fort Hamilton Army Base for a dramatic view of the arriving vessels.
This year was no different, according to Ray Aalbue, chairperson of the Kings County Memorial Day Parade.
“Bay Ridge has always embraced the military,” he said in anticipation of the family-favorite event. “The most important thing is that the community really appreciates what they do for us and the service they provide. They put their lives on hold to serve their country and pay the ultimate price for freedom.”
This year’s parade of ships into New York Harbor was greeted by an 11-gun cannon salute from Fort Hamilton as they made their way under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge as eager spectators watched from the Fort Hamilton Army Base.
Many of military members in town for Fleet Week were able to take part in the Ridge’s 148th Kings County Memorial Day Parade held on Monday, May 25, and hosted by the United Military Veterans of Kings County.
The weeklong celebration has been held nearly every year since 1984, with close to 1,800 sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members partaking this year, along with nine ships, including three U.S. Navy ships, four U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Yard Patrol boats, and two U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) cutters.