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'Navy Week' returns to Western New York with virtual events

The last time Navy Week was held in Western New York was nearly a decade ago-- 2012. Monday morning, Navy officials gathered in person in Buffalo to kick off a virtual version of the event at Canalside on the USS Little Rock.The goal of military personnel this week is to bring the Navy back into Western New York’s eyes. Monday morning’s festivities began with a live enlistment welcoming new recruits.

Paul Marcello, President of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, said they weren’t sure they could pull everything off this year. 

“Obviously with COVID, we didn't know if we could bring people together," said Marcello. "Parents and family wanted to be here for this induction ceremony. And originally it was all going to be scheduled as a virtual event. So it was great that we could bring people together and they can actually witness it in person.”

Canalside will showcase a 53-foot trailer which has an interactive display on the USS Nimitz. Several live events will be held (virtually). Scheduling on that can be found here.

United States Navy Commander Christopher McCurry, who swore in the young recruits, said Navy Week in Buffalo is essential.

“We don't have a Navy base here. It's not like Norfolk, Virginia, or San Diego or Pearl Harbor or something like that," McCurry said. 

But McCury added Buffalo’s contributions are well documented in the service's history. 

“You just have to go back a little bit further," McCury said. "You got to go back to the War of 1812 to find the actual physical battles here. But every conflict that the US has been in since the beginning and currently, Buffalo sailors have been there.”

The ‘Thunder on the Waterfront Buffalo Air Show’ will conclude this week's events with the USS Navy's flying aces, the Blue Angels, June 19 and 20.


Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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