Ahoy shipmates and landlubbers! The 34th annual New York City Fleet Week gets underway early on May 25 with a parade of military ships cruising along the Narrows past Fort Hamilton into New York Harbor. As the parade flagship USS Bataan (LHD-5) arrives in the waters off Fort Hamilton, it will be greeted by an 11-gun salute (actually Howitzer cannon fire).
The USS Bataan is an amphibious assault ship named for the Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. The ship is 843 feet long, more than twice the size of a professional football field.
Due to COVID restrictions, the Navy declined to hold Fleet Week events in 2020 and 2021. In 2019, the star attraction was the Flagship USS New York (LPD-21), which had steel recovered from the World Trade Center attack built into her hull.
Other military vessels participating this year are the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Milwaukee (LCS-5), US Coast Guard Cutter Dependable, US Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore, the Royal Navy’s HMS Protector (A173) and four U.S. Naval Academy Yard patrol crafts.
Ray Aalbue, chairman of the United Military Veterans of Kings County, hopes to once again have sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from the Fleet Week ships marching in Brooklyn’s 155th Memorial Day Parade on May 30.
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Getting an early jump on promotion and fundraising, the parade committee for the 115th annual American Independence Day Parade will hold a kickoff party and rally on May 14 from 1 to 6 p.m. at St. Agatha’s Council, Seventh Avenue and 49th Street.
On July 3, the parade will be held for the first time on Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park. Frank Siller, founder and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, is the grand marshal, and Bishop Paul Sanchez will march and be honored with the parade group’s Pro Patriot Award.