Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

US Navy secretary visits USS Constitution to commemorate the Navy's 246th birthday

US Navy secretary visits USS Constitution to commemorate the Navy's 246th birthday

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro made a visit to the USS Constitution in Bostons Charlestown neighborhood on Wednesday morning, joining officers in celebrations to commemorate the United States Navy s 246th birthday.

According to Officer Elliott Fabrizio, who is on board the USS Constitution, the ceremony included a 21-gun salute and honorary 19th century military drills.

[the secretary] was a pleasure to have him with us. He kicked off the day by firing one of our cannons at morning colors, he added, referring to the daily flag-raising ceremony.

Theres no better way to say happy birthday to the Navy than by doing it aboard the nation s oldest ship, said Fabrizio.

On the Constitution, he said, this practice includes an honorary cannon firing.

After the ceremony, Del Toro shared a lunch with the ships roughly 80 active-duty crew members and discussed the Navy's day-to-day challenges.

The Navy is as crucial today as it was in the days of the Constitution... protecting the data that flows beneath the seas, fiber optic cables, [and] protecting our trade so that nations may freely trade amongst each other in a safe manner that benefits our economies worldwide, Del Toro stated in an interview with Good Morning America.''

Many of the young sailors will never forget a meeting with the secretary.

Many of them were surprised that someone as senior as the secretary of the Navy was going to sit down to lunch with them in their galley, but he was right at home with the crew on hamburger-and-hotdog day, said Fabrizio. Although the USS Constitution is a very loved and special part of the Navy, its rarely on the secretary radar, so the opportunity to show off what we do was the real treat for us, he added.

Ivy Scott can be reached at ivmy.scott@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @itsivyscott.

You may also like: