Contact: Sunny Mindel/Jennifer Chait (212) 788-2958
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today welcomed military officers and personnel to City Hall and proclaimed May 26-June 2 "Fleet Week" in New York City as the City's celebration of the 12th Annual Fleet Week continued.
"Fleet Week is a wonderful tradition because it gives the people of our City the opportunity to show the members of the Armed Forces how much we appreciate their commitment to the principles of courage, duty and sacrifice," said Mayor Giuliani. "It's a time to honor and remember the brave members of the military, and salute their devotion to duty. And, during this year's celebration, we have an opportunity to reflect on the critical role that minorities have played in the military and the contributions of the Navajo Code Talkers who, during World War II, transmitted messages in their native language - a code that the Japanese Armed Forces never broke. As a result of their tireless efforts and unwavering dedication, we are a free and protected nation.
"New York City is very proud to be host to all five branches of the Armed Forces and representatives from all over the world during this week-long celebration," the Mayor continued. "On behalf of all New Yorkers I want to thank the men and women who now serve, and those who have served, in our country's Armed Forces for their hard work and untiring efforts to protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans," the Mayor concluded.
Fleet Week is an annual celebration hosted by New York City. Each year vessels of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, and vessels from foreign nations, sail into New York Harbor for a week's stay. The vessels' crews and area military personnel tour the City, and are offered crew parties, athletic tournaments and other activities sponsored by the Intrepid Museum. The 12th Annual Fleet Week pays tribute to the brave men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Fleet Week '99 will specifically honor members of minorities who have served in the Armed Forces throughout our nation's history.
The Mayor was joined at today's ceremonies by Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig; Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Admiral Frank Bowman; Intrepid Museum Foundation Board of Trustees member Mr. Kenneth Fisher; Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Admiral Joel Miele; Office of Veterans' Affairs Director Michael Handy; U.S. Navy Admiral William G. Sutton; U.S. Navy Admiral John B. Padgett III; U.S. Marine Corps Admiral Ronald G. Richard, and U.S. Coast Guard Captain Richard E, Bennis.