NEW YORK -- The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum held a Fleet Week kick off reception for the service members, supporters, and other planned participants of the 18th annual New York armed forces celebration recently.
The event, which will run from May 25 to 31, will host over a dozen Navy and Coast Guard ships on Manhattan’s west side. A highlight of the festivity will be the participation of USS John F. Kennedy, which may be decommissioned after its final voyage to Fleet Week. Canadian and British vessels will also be in attendance, as well as a Pakistani Navy ship, whose participation in the event will be the first ever for the annual celebration.
“This has been a continuing effort to produce the 18th annual Fleet Week this year. We are so excited that USS John F. Kennedy, a carrier, is coming back to New York again for Fleet Week. It’s no different having a carrier in terms of thanking the men and women that defend our freedom, but it makes it that much more exciting for the visiting public and New York City, who will open its arms for the 18th year to Coast Guardsmen, Marines, Sailors, and our foreign participants,” said Intrepid Foundation President Bill White.
Achilles Track Club Special Projects Director Mary Bryant, who works with disabled veterans to boost their self esteem by training them to run marathons, attended the reception and plans to participate in the scheduled events of the festive week.
“Many people are aware of Fleet Week, but it wasn’t until I was actually on the inside that you see this whole thing is like a family coming together. What’s interesting is it’s not just the United States; there are people from all over the world. So, this is a brotherhood of people coming together. Everyone watches out for each other, but still takes pride in their own service. It’s really fun,” said Bryant.