Updated 05/26/2010 06:53 PM
Parade Of Ships Kicks Off Fleet Week
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All eyes were on the Hudson River today as the 23rd annual Fleet Week kicked off with the Parade of Ships.
All 11 participating ships headed north to the George Washington Bridge, before turning and sailing back to the piers, where they will spend their week in the city.
Four ships are docked by the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum, and the rest on Staten Island. Visits to the ships are free to the public.
"It really is an opportunity for New Yorkers to say thank you to the troops that come off the ships,” said Intrepid Executive Director Susan Marenoff. “But at the same time, those New Yorkers can also see what these troops are doing on the ships themselves and what some of their daily tasks are.”
“You get to meet the solider, the sailors, the Marines, the Coast Guardsmen that are aboard, and it really allows them to come down to the pier, which has all these great displays, and learn about how to get involved, and see the different technology and everything they got going on,” explained Mike Onysko, assistant vice president of marketing for the Intrepid Museum.
An 11-gun salute was also performed today at Fort Hamilton Park in Brooklyn.
Fleet Week runs through May 31. Other activities include athletic events between visiting members of the armed forces, military displays, and a special Memorial Day ceremony at the Intrepid.