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61273959 10156324641797546 469996364235800576 oStaff members and volunteers of the United States World War I Centennial Commission helped spread the word about the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC during Fleet Week NY 2019. (from left) Margaret Frontera, NJ American Legion Post 136; Kathy Abbott, WWICC staff; Lindsey Mulholland & Alex Hasni, United War Veterans Council (UWVC)' Ernesto G Diaz USMC 1st SGT (Ret.) & War Veterans Council.

2019 Fleet Week New York is a Wrap! 

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

2019 Fleet Week New York is one for the books. Now in its 31st year, FWNY is the city’s time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services.

This year was unique in that Fleet Week New York was also a celebration of a tradition of service. Fleet Week 2019 had a special World War I theme, an as such, included a number of activities -- concerts, exhibits, events, ceremonies, etc. -- to tell the story of World War I, and remember its heroes.

Five U.S. Navy ships, one Royal Canadian Navy vessel and one Military Sealift Command ship participated in 2019 Fleet Week New York, and more than 51,000 people visited the Navy and Coast Guard ships during the weeklong event.

There, they were treated to displays and interactions with teams of Centennial Commission Living History experts, in World War I period uniforms, with period gear. They also learned about World War I genealogy, and were given free opportunities to start their research. Visitors to the ships' piers also learned about our new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC, and how to support it.

More than 2,600 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen participated in numerous community events, including visits to area schools, revitalization projects with Habitat for Humanity, outreach efforts through Project HOPE, Memorial Day parades, as well as assisting with the WW1CC ceremony to honor the World War I crew of USS San Diego, which took place in Time Square.

Commission Fleet Week LogoNavy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation teams showcased a variety of troop insertions and Search and Rescue demonstrations at and near public parks throughout the area. Navy and Marine Corps bands and drill team performed for tens of thousands of onlookers throughout the city. They were joined by the our own World War I musical tribute ensemble, the 369th Experience, who played some seven events in four days. These including once-in-a-lifetime performances in Harlem and at Rockefeller Center, and leading the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade.

The Centennial Commission team also joined U.S. military service members at the 9/11 Memorial, where we displayed the scale-model sculptural maquette of the new National World War I Memorial to visitors, as part of Fleet Week displays.

The Centennial Commission team was made up largely of awesome volunteers, who did everything from hand out literature, to answering genealogy questions, to posing for photographs -- or in the case of Navy Museum mascot Sawyer the Seadog, posing to get his head scratched.

Our volunteers were literally the face of World War I, and our nation's remembrance of those 4.7 million veterans. Our volunteer team came from all over the region (Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, etc.) to help us, and they made huge impact on the city's understanding of their World War I heritage. Rear Admiral Charles Rock, Commander of U.S. Navy Region Mid-Atlantic said of their efforts "Your partnership enriched FWNY like no other! THANK YOU!"

Needless to say, we of the Centennial Commission are very grateful for the incredible support, of these incredible people.

News coverage of the Centennial Commission events was terrific, and some clips are included here:

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Harlem-Welcomes-The-369th-EXPERIENCE-FOR-MEMORIAL-Weekend-Concert-20190521

https://www.wearethemighty.com/news/fleet-week-2019-has-theme

https://www.twincities.com/2019/05/30/navy-relatives-wwi-sailor-st-paul-uss-san-diego/

https://www.somdnews.com/enquirer_gazette/news/briefs/pg-natives-take-part-in-new-york-memorial-day-event/article_15b9e4e9-927a-52b6-ad3c-bc7c771dee86.html

Images of the various WW1CC activities during 2019 Fleet Week New York.

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