03 June 2011

New York City Fleet Week


Last weekend I had the privilege to participate in New York City's 24th Fleet Week with the Coast Guard, our Sailors and our Marines.  The timing of this event (in conjunction with Memorial Day), its location (the best liberty port in the U.S.) and the people of New York City (8 million strong with a singular mission to make every person in uniform feel like a hero) combine to make this extraordinary event a truly unforgettable experience.

Just like the first New York City Fleet Week in 1984, we celebrated the accomplishments of our great nation; reaffirmed the strong bond between the public and their military; thanked the public for their unflinching support of our Navy, through thick and thin; and most important, we fulfilled our solemn duty to remember those who paid the ultimate price for their service in the defense of our freedom.  On Memorial Day 1984, we honored the 220 Marines, 18 Sailors and 3 Soldiers killed by terrorists on 23 October 1983 in Beirut. 

In 2011 we honored the 1571 service men and women who have died since 9/11 fighting terrorism in Afghanistan...as well as the thousands of victims of 9/11 and the first responders who walked into the flames of the World Trade Center and didn't make it back out. 
In 1984 and at each of the following 23 Fleet Weeks, by honoring those who died for us, we resolve to increase our devotion to the cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion.
All the best, JCHjr

New York City Fleet Week Memorial Day Speech (link)
Thanks from the Navy New York Post Article (link)

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