ST. LOUIS (NNS) -- St. Louis Navy Week kicked off April 20 with the singing of the national anthem at the Soldier's Memorial.
Navy Counselor 1st Class Generald Wilson, a St. Louis native, performed the national anthem during the opening ceremony at the Soldier's Memorial.
The performance, followed by a reading of a Navy Week proclamation by Tim Embree, special assistant to Mayor Francis Slay, kicked off a week of festivities designed to increase awareness of the Navy's presence in the St. Louis. St. Louis is one of 21 cities chosen to host a Navy Week in the United States this year.
Embree accepted a lithograph from the Navy Parachute Demonstration Team, the Leap Frogs, who were introduced during the ceremony.
"In two combat deployments, the term 'corpsman up' came up too many times," said Embree, who served in the Marine Corps for eight years. "But every single time, we knew a Navy corpsman as going to be there. I want to thank the United States Navy."
Deputy Commander of Navy Region Midwest, Rear Adm. Lee Metcalf, a native of St. Louis, welcomed guests and thanked the city for its support of the Navy.
"The Navy, as we've seen in recent days and weeks, has played a significant part in keeping our seaways and trade lanes open and viable," Metcalf said. "I look forward to a week that brings more understanding of the Navy's role, that brings more partnership and camaraderie between the citizens of St. Louis and the Missouri-Illinois region, and opens the door to even greater communication and understanding amongst all of us," Metcalf said.
St. Louis Navy Week events, continuing through April 26, will include speaking engagements by Vice Adm. David Venlet, commander, Naval Air Systems Command; jumps by the Leap Frogs; performances by the Navy rock band "Freedom;" visits by the crew of the latest fast attack submarine named for the state of Missouri; the mobile Navy flight simulator; the Navy Accelerate Your Life Experience; and EOD Mobile Dive Tank visits to various schools, the Gateway Arch, Union Station, and Navy Day at Busch Stadium.
Navy research exhibits, including the Navy Environmental Booth with "EQ," the Navy's eco-friendly mascot, will be displayed at the St. Louis Science Center April 24-25.
For information on scheduled events during St. Louis Navy Week, visit www.navyweek.org/stlouis.
For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach, visit www.navy.mil/local/navco/.