When the flotilla of naval vessels steams past Fort Hamilton at approximately 9:30 a.m. on May 24, and enters New York harbor, it will signal the unofficial start of the 29th annual celebration of Fleet Week.
As the ships approach Fort Hamilton, the Veteran Corps of Artillery dressed in War of 1812-era dress uniforms, will fire Howitzer cannon salutes from the shore line. In keeping with the long-standing naval tradition, the amphibious assault carrier USS Kearsage (LHD 3) will fire a return salute.
USS Kearsage, which is home-ported at Norfolk, Virginia, was named for Kearsage Mountain in Warner, New Hampshire. The 844-foot long combat ship was christened by Alma Powell, wife of New Yorker General Colin Powell while he was chairperson of the Joint Chief of Staff. On Fort Hamilton, the USO operates a recreation center named in honor of General Powell, who was later U.S. Secretary of State.
Among other major vessels in the parade of ships which will be open for public viewing are USCGC Katherine Walker, USCGC Hamilton, USS San Jacinto, USS Monterey, USS Lassen and Canadian vessel HMCS Glace Bay.
According to Ray Aalbue, executive director of Brooklyn’s 150th annual Kings County Parade, sailors and marines from Fleet Week ships will be in the line of march on May 29.
The United Military Veterans of Kings County held its annual Patriotism Award ceremonies on May 11, in the Brooklyn Borough Hall Rotunda. Patriot awards were presented to former Command Master Sergeant Juan Caez, Fort Hamilton Public Affairs Officer Cathy Santo Pietro and veterans event coordinator Cary Spickler.
Actress and USO entertainer Michelle Della Fave sang the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Navy veteran Anthony Giovinco, UMVKC secretary, was the emcee. The presentation of awards was conducted by UMVKC officers Prisco DeAngelis and Ray Aalbue.