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Fleet Week Canceled

SAN FRANCISCO (September 18, 2001) –

Organizers of San Francisco Fleet Week today cancelled this year’s event due to concerns about public safety following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Fleet Week 2001 was scheduled for October 5-7.

“We regret deeply canceling this year’s Fleet Week,” said Edward M. Leonard, Chairman of the Fleet Week committee. “It would have been particularly appropriate to honor our military personnel this year, as they are now being called upon to help with rescue efforts and will be called upon to defend our country and its citizens against further terrorist attacks.”

The Fleet Week Committee – a nonprofit group of civilians who organize the annual event – made the decision to cancel the event after consultation with the San Francisco Police Department, Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr., and other Fleet Week participants. While there have been no threats made to Fleet Week activities, based on its discussions with participating agencies and organizations, the Committee felt it could not provide an adequate level of security for the hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend this year’s event.

“Public safety is our overriding concern and I fully support the decision of the Fleet Week Committee to cancel this year’s Fleet Week,” said Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. “On behalf of the people of San Francisco, I want to express our support for the Navy and Marine Corps in their ongoing efforts to defend our country. We will miss them this year, but we know they have a job to do.”

Rear Admiral William Marshall, Commander of Amphibious Group Three, who was in charge of the Navy ship participation for Fleet Week, said “Fleet Week has long been a favorite event of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard team. We truly appreciate all the effort by the great many citizens of the Bay Area in planning this year’s event; we salute you and look forward to a great event and more favorable circumstances in 2002.”

San Francisco’s Fleet Week has been one of the Bay Area’s most popular family events since it was inaugurated by then Mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1981. Each year over the Columbus Day weekend, 5,000-10,000 US Navy Sailors and Marines have visited San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda, bringing with them an array of ships. Fleet Week also features a military and civilian air show, highlighted by the Navy’s Blue Angels precision flight demonstration team.

Fleet Week 2002 has been tentatively scheduled for October 12 and 13.


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