The Seafair Fleet Week Parade of Ships, a 62 year old tradition, took place in Puget Sound and Elliott Bay on Aug. 1. During the event 17 people became naturalized American citizens aboard ship. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE.
SLIDESHOW: Seafair Parade of Ships displays Naval variety
17 people became American citizens aboard ship during the parade
By David Rosen
Seafair Fleet Week has for the past 62 years seen the Parade of Ships and this year, the West Seattle Herald hitched a ride. We were aboard the USS Bunker Hill, a Guided Missile Cruiser that took part in the parade and played a special role in the event. The Parade of Ships started around 1:45 pm and lasted until 2:30 pm
A variety of ships took part in the parade and will be in town until August 5 offering public tours and participate in the annual festivities. Ship tours will be open to the public from Aug 2-4 from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm and Aug 5 from noon - 3:30 pm. For the vessel the USS New Orleans they will operate tours at noon on Aug 3-5.
3 U.S Navy Ships - USS Bunker Hill (guided-missile cruiser), USS Halsey (guided-missile destroyer), and USS New Orleans (U.S. Navy amphibious transport dock ship), 3 Royal Canadian Navy Ships and one U.S. Coast Guard vessel all formed a line to parade through Elliott Bay.
The USS Bunker Hill got the privilege to naturalize 17 military members again this year, as it has been a Seafair tradition since 2009. Of those being naturalized three are members from Mexico and Columbia. Also represented are Brazil, Finland, Cuba, Venezuela, China, Canada, Iraq, Jamaica, Taiwan, Philippines, and Nigeria. Twelve of these people serve with the Army, two from Air Force, and Navy, and finally one with the Coast Guard.
We boarded the USS Bunker Hill around 8:30 am and departed from land around 10:00 am. After we got underway the naturalization ceremony took place around 10:45 am.
The USS Bunker Hill was the lead ship, followed by the USS Halsey, and then the USS New Orleans. We went from Elliott Bay North past Discovery Point to meet up with the Royal Canadian Ships, and then turned around and went by West Seattle and around Downtown Seattle and then back to port. They also had flyovers from two different aircraft.
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