Tuesday, 11 Sep 2012,
- Diana Fairbanks
- Posted by: Eli George
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A fleet is converging on Buffalo to help mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
For the first time, Navy Week is coming into port in Buffalo. Six hundred visiting sailors will take part in the six days of events that will include demonstrations, concerts and tours.
Jessica Klein said, “I think it’s really cool and really big.”
Lt. Victor Aponte of the U.S. Navy said, “I’ve seen ships come in for New York Fleet Week and they came in this way in Boston, but not this wet before though.”
It’s clear something special is sailing into Buffalo.
Eileen Klein added, “It really is an emotional thing to see the ship come in. You see everyone here, they’re in their uniforms. It’s a really moving experience.”
USS De Wert Cdr. Charles Thomas said, “You’ll have the opportunity to come see where we land our helicopters, where we eat lunch at, which we call “chow,” the terminology in the Navy. You’ll go up to the bridge, to the combat to see how we fight our wars, where we draw our ships, and give you a unique example of what we do on an everyday basis.”
The Queen City is the final stop on the Navy’s 12 city tour commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Despite the 200 years since then, one of the Navy’s main missions remains the same.
“As the navy did 200 years ago in the War of 1812, we were fighting the pirates. We declared war against the mighty empire of the British in the War of 1812 to keep the sea lanes free. We’re doing the same thing to counter piracy today off the coast of Africa, off the coast of Somalia you know, fighting the pirates and keeping the sea lanes free today 200 years later,” Cdr. Thomas said.
Navy Week may inspire new generations to do the same for years to come.
Mark Klein said, “I asked the captain to talk to my youngest son to see if he’ll consider going into the Navy.”