New York - The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the proud citizens of New York helped usher in Fleet Week New York (FWNY) 2016 with the Parade of Ships.

Four Navy ships, two Coast Guard cutters, four U.S. Naval Academy Yard Patrol Boats, and three Royal Canadian ships participated in the parade which has been held nearly every year since 1984.

"When I see the ships parade through the harbor, I feel a real sense of pride," said Lt. Jeff Scherer, New York Fire Department, who welcomed the ships into the city at Historic Fort Hamilton. "I think it's great that the service members get to come out and experience how much we appreciate them here in New York."

The Parade of Ships is the official start of the weeklong celebration. Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are scheduled to participate in community relations projects, local parades, reenlistments, and visit area schools while also educating the general public about military careers, and the ships and services they represent.

During school visits, students will be introduced to a wide variety of military assets which demonstrate how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills integrate into military careers, further emphasizing what students are learning in the classrooms across the country.

General public ship tours will be conducted daily throughout the week in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island. All ships will be open for tours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of the Intrepid Pier, which opens at 10 a.m.

The tours will showcase the latest capabilities and technology of today's maritime sea services. Visitors will learn about job specialties, firefighting techniques, environmental safety, energy awareness, and the importance of damage control aboard ships, as well as see and interact with aviation static displays.

"I think Fleet Week New York is a really important event to recognize those who have served our country," said Annette Malloy, teacher at Channel View Research School. "It is very exhilarating and exciting to be able to watch a fleet parade by and for us to pay our respects."