The U.S. Navy will sail into Detroit early next month, for the first time in 13 years, with warships from the past and present as part of a special Navy Week celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
From Sept. 4-10, spectators will be able to tour modern Navy vessels, as well as a tall ship replica, Rear Adm. Greg Nosal said at a news conference Tuesday in Detroit. Nosal heads Strike Carrier Group II, which is sending the ships to the Great Lakes for the event.
The bicentennial celebration is especially relevant in Detroit, Nosal said. The War of 1812 was in large part fought over free trade, and free trade is still vitally important to Detroit, with its large import and export industry, Nosal said. He added that 90% of all trade, by volume, travels by ship today.
And Detroit was chosen as a host city because of its direct link to the War of 1812. The city was an important military outpost in the war — but mainly for the British, who tricked the commander of Ft. Detroit into surrendering the city without a shot and occupied it for more than a year.
Detroit is one of 10 cities along the Great Lakes included in the bicentennial tour.
Two U.S. Navy ships, the De Wert, a frigate, and the Hurricane, a coastal patrol boat, will make the trek.
In addition, there will be a U.S. Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay and the tall ship Niagara, a replica of the ship Capt. Oliver Hazard Perry used as a relief flagship during the Battle of Lake Erie. The ships will be docked at the Detroit Port Authority pier on the Detroit River.
A Canadian Navy vessel will be there, as well, docked across the Detroit River on the Canadian side.
For more information about the Navy Week, War of 1812 Bicentennial tour, see www.ourflagwasstillthere.org .