The Corner

Follow the Fleet

It’s Fleet Week in New York City. Three of the Derbs — self, son, daughter — had a fun morning Wednesday at a Fleet Week breakfast, courtesy of some pals at the New York Mercantile Exchange, whose building overlooks the Hudson. We stood on the tenth floor veranda watching the ships go by. That’s something to see. There were Navy, USMC, and Coastguard among the guests in attendance, all terrifically smart in dress uniforms (some surreptitious ogling here from Ms. Derb), and all displaying the exquisite manners of military professionals. (“When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite” — W. Churchill.)

The instructional content of the event was much enhanced for me by the presence of naval strategist/historian Norm Friedman, who had an explanation for every ramp, shaft, panel, and protuberance on every ship, with salty judgments about the wisdom of various weapons programs and their congressional travails.

There are Fleet Week events all over the city and surrounding region this next few days — details here. If you’re in the city or environs, set aside some time for a ship tour, meet’n’greet, sporting event, or equipment display. It’s your tax dollars at work; but in this case, for once at least, you can bring your pride and patriotism with you and leave your cynicism at home.

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