2009_05_joanj2.jpgFleet Week is officially kicked off, with today's Parade of Ships and the military flyover. You'll be seeing thousands of sailors, marines, and members of the Coast Guard around town over the next week—and you can also see them at special events (more details here). The event celebrates the sea services and yesterday rocker Joan Jett met some servicemen and servicewomen as she toured the USS Iwo Jima.

This year's Fleet Week is somewhat downsized due to the economy; a Naval spokesperson said, "We're just taking a little more of a fiscal look at this year." Here are some photographs of the ships passing by Staten Island. One S.I. resident who served in the 82nd Airborne Division from 1969 to 1971 told the Advance he was going to visit the ships this week and added, "You've got young men and women deployed around the world. A young sergeant I know just completed his second tour in Iraq. This reminds people of their service."