News / USA

    Fleet Week Gives Sea Services, Big Apple the Chance to Shine

    A U.S. coastguardsman on the deck of his cutter speaks to his family by mobile phone saying that he will be in port soon, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    A U.S. coastguardsman on the deck of his cutter speaks to his family by mobile phone saying that he will be in port soon, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    Adam Phillips
    This is Fleet Week in New York City, an annual rite of celebration and memorial solemnity that will give an estimated 1,500 service personnel from the Coast Guard, Navy and Marines a chance to experience the Big Apple up close, and offer New Yorkers a chance to mingle with members of the armed forces who are often out of sight on bases or serving abroad.  

    As a Coast Guard cutter festooned with the pennants of many nations passed by Wednesday morning on its way to its Hudson River berth, Susan Marenoff-Zauzner took a moment in the shadow of the Intrepid, the aircraft carrier that houses the military museum she runs, to express excitement about the week ahead.

    “Historically the Intrepid is a hub of activities during Fleet Week. It makes us so proud to be able to host activities that ensure that the men and women coming off these ships get the thank you they deserve.”
     
    Katherine Kine, a New Yorker and Fleet Week regular, welcomes a chance to meet service members, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)Katherine Kine, a New Yorker and Fleet Week regular, welcomes a chance to meet service members, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    x
    Katherine Kine, a New Yorker and Fleet Week regular, welcomes a chance to meet service members, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    Katherine Kine, a New Yorker and Fleet Week regular, welcomes a chance to meet service members, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    It is also a rare opportunity for New Yorkers board a military vessel and to mix with service members.

    “It’s very interesting,” said Katherine Kine, a singer, as she craned her neck to catch a glimpse of the USS Oak Hill, the navy vessel that is the Fleet Week flagship. “I’ve never had family in the military; I am very disconnected from that life. So this gives me a close up view of their everyday lives and activities.”

    Personal pride, public displays

    Fleet Week is a personal affair for Ralph Steele of New Jersey. He was waving through a chain link fence at his son, who was standing on the deck of his cutter, waiting to come ashore. “And hopefully we’ll be able to see him a couple of times while he’s down here,” said Steele. “It makes you proud to have your son in the military and doing the right thing."

    Both civilian and service personnel do a double take when the American Bombshells
    Ralph Steele of New Jersey strains for a glimpse of his son, a seaman, who has just berthed at Manhattan's Pier 46, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)Ralph Steele of New Jersey strains for a glimpse of his son, a seaman, who has just berthed at Manhattan's Pier 46, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    x
    Ralph Steele of New Jersey strains for a glimpse of his son, a seaman, who has just berthed at Manhattan's Pier 46, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    Ralph Steele of New Jersey strains for a glimpse of his son, a seaman, who has just berthed at Manhattan's Pier 46, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    walk by arm-in-arm. They are a patriotic group of entertainers dedicated to giving moral support and appreciation to active military members.

    “For me it is very important to use what I do for a living, my talents, my drive, my passion for something that matters,” said blonde "Bombshell" Stephanie Leone, a singer. “And for me, supporting our troops matters." Rayna Bertash, a redhaired "Bombshell," nodded her agreement. “It is such a wonderful thing to be able to walk over, shake their hand, and thank them for their service. Every Fleet Week is so meaningful and so special, and we are just so blessed to be a part of it.”
     
    A family of Alaskan tourists were happy to unexpectedly be a part of New York's Fleet Week, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)A family of Alaskan tourists were happy to unexpectedly be a part of New York's Fleet Week, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    x
    A family of Alaskan tourists were happy to unexpectedly be a part of New York's Fleet Week, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    A family of Alaskan tourists were happy to unexpectedly be a part of New York's Fleet Week, New York City, May 23, 2014. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
    Memorial Day poignancy, respect

    Fleet Week will climax on Monday, Memorial Day, when remembrance and gratitude for the fallen -- rather than wild celebration -- will be the mission. The ceremonies will be held at the Intrepid Museum.  

    “It’s all about paying tribute to and commemorating and honoring those that paid the ultimate sacrifice… who gave their lives for our freedom,” explained Susan Marenof-Zauzner." And it’s just very moving. We have over a thousand people here, the general public comes off the street and [they all] want to be able to bow their heads and say ‘thank you.’ It’s very tremendous and its very poignant and meaningful.”

    Until then, New Yorkers can expect to see excited men and women in uniform taking aim at the Big Apple’s many wonders, and waging battle with the city’s crowded sidewalks and subways.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora