FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG WELCOMES NAVY AND MARINES TO NEW YORK'S 20th ANNUAL FLEET WEEK CELEBRATION
Mayor also kicks-off 2nd Annual Fleet Week Job, Education & Information Fair
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today welcomed members of the US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard to New York City's 20th Annual Fleet Week Celebration in a ceremony at Gracie Mansion. Fleet Week this year will run from May 23rd until May 30th. During this week, thousands of military service men and women come to New York, and this year, 6 ships have docked at various piers around the City. The Mayor also announced a modernization of Veterans' Memorial Hall, home of the Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs and a number of key veterans' organizations in the City representing veterans from every era back to World War I. In addition to Fleet Week activities planned citywide, the Mayor also kicked off the City's 2nd Annual Fleet Week Job, Education and Information Fair for military veterans and service members. The Mayor was joined today by Vice Admiral Evan M. Chanik Jr. of the US Navy, Chaplain Dale Parker of the US Navy and Clarice Joynes, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs.
"Hosting the 20th Anniversary of Fleet Week is an opportunity for our City to show its longstanding support and gratitude to our service men and women throughout the world," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Throughout our history, our nation has relied on men and women in uniform to courageously defend our freedoms, and our way of life. That's why we want to ensure that when our service members come back home we welcome them - not just with words and medals - but with opportunities. We hope that our returning veterans will choose to follow their dreams right here in New York City."
"Fleet Week is always a special time for New York City," said Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs Executive Director Clarice Joynes. "We hope the service members and veterans take advantage of all the City has to offer including our 2nd Annual Fleet Week Job, Education, & Information Fair which is a great opportunity for veterans in the New York City area to come and apply for jobs and learn about their benefits."
The job, education and information fair, being held today at the Emigrant Savings Bank Building in Lower Manhattan, will include more than 60 potential employers, including many City agencies such as the New York City Police and Fire Department. The Fleet Week Job Fair gives veterans and service members an opportunity to receive information on jobs, benefits, and educational opportunities that are available through various programs offered by city agencies. The Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs works to assist veterans and returning service members in assessing their needs in housing, employment and healthcare and connecting them with helpful resources at the City, State and Federal levels.
Renovations have begun at Veterans' Memorial Hall in Lower Manhattan, which also celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. The Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs' facility will be modernized to meet the needs of the next generation of veterans, and the organizations currently housed in Veterans' Memorial Hall will be receiving upgraded IT infrastructure and internet support. A new organization, Veterans of Modern Warfare, which serves veterans returning from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be moving into the Hall to ensure that veterans from all wars, past and present, are represented there along with the Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs.
This year's fleet of ships features the USS Wasp, USS Stephen W. Groves, USS Oscar Austin, USS Hue City, USS Winston S. Churchill, USS San Jacinto and the US Coast Guard Cutter Katherine Walker. As a part of the City's official welcome of the military, Mayor Bloomberg today presented the ships' Flag Officers with crystal globes and the Commanding Officers with silver cuff links. The Flag Officers in return presented the Mayor with a framed photo of the USS Wasp surrounded by command coins for each ship and the Commanding Officers presented the Mayor with challenge coins from their respective vessels. For more information please visit www.nyc.gov, or visit the Navy's Fleet Week Web site at www.fleetweek.navy.mil.
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788 2958