Fort Hamilton kicks off 31st annual Fleet Week with Salute to Ships event

Taking it in: Veterans pose with a sailor at the Salute to Ships event on May 22.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

They’re sailing into another Fleet Week.

Fort Hamilton Army Base held an 11-gun salute on May 22, welcoming nearly 3,000 service members who poured into the city aboard ships in New York Harbor for the 31st annual Fleet Week.

Brooklynites lined the Dyker Heights shore, waving at incoming Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen at the Salute to Ships event, officially kicking off the beloved weeklong tradition. More than 1,000 people attended the early-morning ceremony, watching the dozen ships pass under the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge, according to a Fort Hamilton rep.

“Overall it was a great engagement of the community,” said Amanda Hay. “We had veterans, schools kids, children, and service members all coming together to welcome these ships to New York.”

Fire: Fort Hamilton hosts an 11-gun salute to kick of the 31st annual Fleet Week.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

Guests were serenaded by the sounds of three high school bands, from James Madison’s marching band, Fort Hamilton’s color guard, and Xaverian’s multi-instrument ensemble, which provided the musical soundtrack for the kickoff ceremony.

Throughout the course of Fleet Week, the ships dock in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, allowing deployed service members to visit family and friends, and take in the city’s attractions.

New Yorkers will have the opportunity to meet men and women in uniform, as well as tour some of the docked vessels, getting an inside look at the buoyant homes of American service members during their seven-day excursion in the northeast.

Ships in the aquatic parade included the Naval destroyer USS Jason Dunham, named for the New York-born corporal who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2006 for his service in Iraq, and the Naval transport ship USS New York, named to honor the victims of 9/11.

Land ahoy: The USS New York sails into New York Harbor during Fort Hamilton’s Salute to Ships event on May 22.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.

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