NEW YORK (NNS) -- Several hundred Sailors from USS New York (LPD 21) and various local commands marched up Fifth Avenue in the heart of New York City during America's Parade, the culminating event of Veterans Week New York City, Nov. 11.
Veterans Week New York City and America's Parade are a continuation of a New York tradition that began in 1919, honoring the service and sacrifice of American veterans. Sailors participated in more than 40 events throughout the week, providing opportunities to meet with local veterans and to share their personal experiences with many New Yorkers.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus was in the city on Veterans Day as part of the remembrance.
"It is important for us to remember the sacrifice of all our veterans. The impact they have had on our nation cannot be overstated," said Mabus. "For more than 238 years, our Sailors and Marines have provided a global presence, defending America's interests far from home, as part of the finest expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known. This legacy was built upon the selfless sacrifices of our veterans, those who have willingly stood the watch, in harm's way, for decades."
The arrival of USS New York was one of the highlights of Veterans Week and offered the public an opportunity to interact with the Navy up close and to thank Sailors and Marines. Thousands of visitors toured the ship's vehicle storage spaces, flight deck, and hangar bay, even exploring some of the vehicles that are used by crew members and embarked Marines.
"I saw little kids and they lit up at everything they saw," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Hailey Shover, one of the ship's tour guides. "They wanted to be around it. They were excited by it. The parents with them, they showed a huge admiration for everything we did."
Many New York Sailors visited the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum and toured the 9/11 Tribute Center, which was especially meaningful for Culinary Specialist 1st Class Arthur Johnson, who reenlisted during the visit.
"What happened on September 11 is the reason why I joined the Navy," said Johnson. "Right after I found out we were coming to New York, I couldn't think of a better place than right here to reenlist. This memorial is truly amazing."
Veterans Week New York City and America's parade provided opportunities for Sailors to engage with the public and to help bridge the gap between the military and the civilians they serve. New Yorkers will get to engage again with Sailors in 2014 when Navy ships return to the city for Fleet Week 2014.
For the most recent information about Fleet Week check out the event's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FleetWeekNewYork.
For more news from Navy Office of Information, East, visit www.navy.mil/local/navinfoeast/.