Fleet Week in Broward County – Thank You!
By Chip LaMarca, Broward County Commissioner
Fleet Week is here again, and we’re happy to say that we have a fleet to visit this year! From April 28th through May 5th Broward residents will feast their eyes on the USS New York (LPD-21). The USS New York is the fifth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and is most notable for using a symbolic amount of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center after the attacks of 09.11.01. The New York has a crew of 360 and the ability to carry up to 700 U.S. Marines.
Broward Navy Days has pulled together our community and its resources once again to provide us with quite a show. From the opening ceremony, special ship tours, and special events such as “Galley Wars” there is not a day to miss. Since its incorporation in 1990, Broward Navy Days has hosted the annual Fleet Week celebration at Port Everglades. When the Air & Sea Show was discontinued in 2008, Broward Navy Days sustained Fleet Week giving Broward residents something to continue to look forward to each year.
Aside from Fleet Week, Broward Navy Days participates in commissioning ceremonies of Navy ships and Coast Guard cutters in South Florida. Broward Navy Days is also devoted to preserving the memory of our nation’s veterans, especially those treasured few survivors of Pearl Harbor. Every year I have the distinct honor of joining Broward Navy Days at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale to memorialize the lives of those who have since passed, and recognize those who are still with us today to share their incredible story from the day that lives in infamy.
Broward has a rich history with our Armed Forces and preserving this history is up to us. It is up to us to honor and look after those who have looked after us while they stood on a wall in a foreign land fighting to keep the world at peace. I cannot tell you how privileged I was to unanimously pass the Veterans Enabled Transportation Pass (V.E.T. Pass) last year which allows our less fortunate veterans to access our public transportation for free enabling them to apply for jobs, get to their medical appointments, and conduct day to day activities that many of us take for granted during our daily commutes. In conjunction with Fleet Week, each year the board passes a week of free transportation to ALL service members while they are in port visiting the Greater Ft. Lauderdale area. Allowing service members to have a taste of what Broward County has to offer just might convince them to make our home their home.
All of this attraction would not be possible without our beaches. At 51 months of consecutive growth, it is hard to ignore the impact that our beaches have on our economy. Of the 13.4 MILLION visitors who spent $10.6 BILLION, more than 60% came here to be on or near the beach. It is with this kind of economic success that we are able to fund programs like the V.E.T. Pass and other veteran initiatives.
I will continue to advocate for the residents of Broward County and in the best interest of our greatest resources. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954.357.7004 or by email at email@example.com. You can also stay up to date by viewing our website www.broward.org/district4, where you can sign up to receive email updates from our office.
Commissioner LaMarca with Capt Teets and the Commander of the USS Wasp (LHD-1): Capt Gary Boardman (native of District 4).
As always, it is an honor to serve you.