Motor City on the Move: Navy Week

Welcome back! Last year there was a series calledDetroit: A City on the Rise. I’ve decided to continue that, but bring it back with a different name and a little different view. Motor City on the Move will involve anything that showcases the city of Detroit in a good spotlight, new, old and different.

Many may think that this is not the best idea, as there is no way you can think of that many things to talk about in terms of Detroit. However, I came up with twenty-some last year for every Tuesday we printed. They are in the archives online, so feel free to read them. I can promise you that there are plenty of great things going on in Detroit and my hope is that this series will show you that.

Starting out this year is something new. Navy Week, the first ever held in Detroit was this past week after Labor Day, coinciding with the War of 1812 bicentennial. The plans for Navy Week in Detroit included ships, concerts, drills and lots of naval fun.

A total of five ships docked in Detroit for Navy Week. The USS De Wert and the USS Hurricane, both Navy ships, the USS Katmai Bay is a Coast Guard cutter, the HMCS Ville de Quebec, a Canadian Navy ship, and the flagship Niagara all docked in Detroit for Navy Week.

The USS De Wert is a navy ship that “provides air, submarine, and surface protection for carrier battle groups, underway replenishment forces, amphibious groups and convoys” according to the War of 1812 Bicentennial website. The USS Hurricane supports the NAVY Seals and any mission they embark on. The USS Katmai Bay is used in homeland projects, icebreaking, and law enforcement. The HMCS Ville de Quebec is the equivalent of the Katmai Bay for the Canadian government.

The Flagship Niagara is a replica of the ship Oliver Hazzard Perry used in the Battle of Lake Erie in September of 1813. Perry won the crucial battle on the Lake Erie, keeping control of the Great Lakes to the United States.

Tours of the boats were available during Navy Week. There were different concerts put on in Campus Martius, on the Riverwalk near the Renaissance Center and all around Metro Detroit. There were even drill practices by the U.S. Coast Guard. This event not only commemorates the War of 1812 bicentennial for the country, but for the Great Lakes as well.

It’s a huge deal for the city of Detroit as well. During the war, the city fell to the British and was regained in 1813. The city is going through some hard times financially, educationally, and residentially. That’s something that will eventually get hammered out in each of those sectors in due time. To have a Navy Week in Detroit, to bring people to the city and to embrace the naval history of the city is special in a troubling time.

All of Metro Detroit is located on the Detroit River the region relies on it heavily for shipping, food, recreation, and transportation. The river created the city of Detroit. Many of us wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the river. Navy Week was something that Detroit was able to embrace in a way that shows off the city in a great way. Hopefully, Navy Week will come back next year to give the citizens of this fine metro area something to look forward to each summer.

To read the original post that appeared in the first issue of The Michigan Journal, on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org

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