My Trip Down Memory Lane – Fleet Week in San Francisco

First posted on
Thursday, October 4, 2007

Some things never change


This is my most favorite time of the year. Besides the beautiful Northern California autumn weather, this weekend is Fleet Week and Columbus Day festivities in the North Beach area of San Francisco.

Imagine, sitting at a sidewalk cafe, in North Beach – taking in all the sights and sounds…perhaps some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl (I don\’t eat clams but I\’m setting up this scene) while the Blue Angels entertain you from the blue skies above.

 Fleet Week is a tradition in my family. Going back to when my youngest was a toddler. We\’d go with the Boy Scouts. I have a cute picture of Navy in a pack on his dad\’s back on the deck of an aircraft carrier – little did we know, one day he\’d be an Aviation Boatsmanmate on a flight deck!
(USS Theodore Roosevelt)

Every year, its a little different for us. Last year, we met up with a Navy Mom and her husband who came down from WA state to spend the afternoon with us. This was on Sunday. WE had the best time… I love walking the Fishermen wharf area and you look out to a sea of white caps! Ahhh if only I was 18 again…

Every year, it seems as if it might be the LAST year for Fleet week in San Francisco. This really angers me. I bet many people do not realize that San Francisco has a rich, military history behind them. Nothing to be ashamed of, but my city was hijacked  years ago and those who did, want to change our historic past. The military historic past of San Francisco is being re-written. In the news the last couple of weeks, I heard about some Marines who wanted to do a documentary film. They wanted to set up a few shots in the city and was refused by the City of San Francisco! So, they went across the bay to Marin County and surprisingly, they approved it, and the Marines got some beautiful shots of the Golden Gate Bridge…from the Marin side.

San Francisco is also the city, that has banned at Military recruiters from their HS and college campuses. No more ROTC. No more BOY SCOUTS! And just yesterday, there was an unfortunate incident at the Oakland Airport, where some home bound Marines coming back from IRAQ, were mistreated and delayed.

 Its a shame – My son is due to get out of the Navy come Jan. In his almost 4 years, when he has come home, he does not wear his uniform. Perhaps some areas in the USA, a solider, airman, marine and sailor can walk down the street, proudly wearing their uniform. BUT not in San Francisco. You risk being spit on, verbally abused or worse.

 That\’s my city by the bay…San Francisco. The most \”tolerant\” city in the world.