Submitted by Lake Forest American Legion Post 264:
CHICAGO – Ships of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy are scheduled to visit Chicago as part of the Navy’s Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and Navy Week, August 13-20. The week itself will be packed with family-friendly events and will coincide with Chicago Air and Water Show, August 18-19.
Navy ships haven’t visited Chicago in more than a decade. Area residents will have a unique opportunity to learn about the War of 1812 and experience Chicago Navy Week and ships of the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Canadian Navy firsthand through a wide array of community events and outreach.
Docked at Navy Pier, the coastal patrol ship USS Hurricane (PC-3), along with the Canadian coastal defense vessels HMCS Moncton (MM-708) and Summerside (MM-711) will arrive in Chicago on Aug. 14. The frigate USS De Wert (FFG-45) also arrives on Aug. 14 and will be anchored in the Navy Pier harbor. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay arrives on Aug. 15. Tours aboard the ships will be open for public visitation.
The War of 1812, also known as America’s second war for independence, is regarded by many as the conflict that started our country’s rise to global influence. From 1812 to 1815, the United States fought to expand to the north and west, and to assert rights to trade freely with other countries, without interference from Britain’s Royal Navy ships on the high seas. America’s modern Navy and its role as a global maritime force are deeply rooted in the events of 1812 to 1815.
“The U.S. Navy is uniquely positioned to operate on, above and below the water and we’re excited to showcase our capabilities to the Chicago community during Navy Week,” said Rear Admiral Gregory M. Nosal, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Two. “America’s Navy is agile, flexible and deployed around the world to protect our nation’s freedom and interests every day.”
Joining Rear Admiral Nosal in Chicago will be Vice Admiral Philip H. Cullom and Rear Admiral Michael H. Mittelman. The admirals and sailors will engage with local corporate, civic and educational leaders throughout the week.
Sailors from the Chicagoland area, the visiting ships, as well as local U.S. Marines and Coast Guardsmen will participate in many community service projects and activities, including a ship arrival ceremony at Navy Pier, diving demonstrations from the Navy Dive Team, Great Lakes Navy Band concerts, jumps by the “Leap Frogs” Navy Parachute Team, Navy Color Guard appearances, U.S. Navy Blue Angels performances during the Chicago Air and Water Show (August 18 and 19), and other activities.
A full event schedule will be available online in early August: http://www.navyweek.org/chicago2012/ and www.OurFlagWasStillThere.org.