WEST SIDE — Cannons fired, and fighter jets shreiked above the passenger ship terminal at Pier 88 to celebrate the commissioning of the newest warship in the U.S. Navy on Saturday.
The warship's introduction, which opened with comments by Mayor Bloomberg, featured a 19-cannon salute at 10 a.m., and later, fighter jet flyovers, parachute demonstrations, and free visits for the public on Monday at the pier near the West Side Highway and West 48th Street.
The U.S.S. Michael Murphy was named for a Navy Seal based in Smithtown, Long Island, who died after exposing his body to enemy fire in order to radio for help, during a June, 2005 ambush by the Taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the first issued in the Afghan War, and the first won by the Navy since Vietnam.
The FA-18 fighter jets then conducted flyovers at 1,000 feet above the pier Saturday, according to the commissioning committee website.