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Families flock to Brooklyn’s backyard for Marine Day festivities

Packing Heat: Aadam Dabrowski poses with a firearm.
for Brooklyn Paper
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Don’t call them army brats!

Families occupied Prospect Park on Saturday for a day of activities hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps that attracted adults and children interested in military service, and those who attended said it was a spectacle to behold, particularly for the tots.

“Children can learn about how military people work, what they actually do,” said Eva Dabrowski, a Coney Island resident who attended with her 11-year-old son. “They can touch a real gun. That’s the most exciting thing. Just to touch it, to hold it, to ask a soldier how it works, that’s a lot of fun!”

The festivities, dubbed Marine Day, kicked-off with a 5K run that was followed by military vehicle and robot displays, martial arts demonstrations, and performances by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and Drum and Bugle Corps. The event, part of this year’s Fleet Week celebration, marked the first time that the gathering took place in Brooklyn’s backyard.

The soldiers who led the activities made a point to engage the excited youngsters, which set the day’s inspiring tone, according to a father who traveled from New Jersey with his 11-year-old son to attend.

“They were very approachable. They were great to the kids, they spoke to my son and he really enjoyed his time speaking with them,” said Chris Smith. “He wants to be a marine and he has been talking about it for a few years now.”

Updated 5:58 pm, July 9, 2018
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