The Fleet Week parade kicks off, marking the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The parade features tall ships, stunt airplanes and The Blue Angels, reminding the Americans of the sacrifice that all military members make in the name of peace and freedom.

On Wednesday, New York City residents and tourists were reminded of the true meaning of freedom, with both the joy of living it and the sacrifices made to keep it. The day marked the beginning of OpSail 2012 and Fleet Week New York. It is the first OpSail in more than a decade and it marks the anniversary of 200 years since the War of 1812.

People are gathering on both banks of the Hudson River to admire the proud U.S. Coast Guard Ship, followed by smaller, more modern warships. The sky was also a spectacle itself. Air National Guard planes, flown by stunt pilots, fly over the Hudson River, along with the Blue Angels.


Fleet Week parade kicks off in New York City

6,000 Marine members descended on the city to join the festivities and take the opportunity of meeting their family and friends.

Petty Officer Second Class Angel Garcia, 38, a Bronx native, says that it is his first time home in years. “It feels great to actually be back in my hometown and see my family”.

Others focused on the partying. “When you walk around New York City in a sailor suit, you’re a chick magnet,” said Petty Officer Second Class Joe Maydwell, 48.