Big week ahead for Fort Lauderdale’s namesake military ship


FORT LAUDERDALE — The USS Fort Lauderdale might not be here yet, but she’s on her way.

The 684-foot vessel has a commissioning date with Fort Lauderdale to mark its entry into active service. An invitation-only commissioning ceremony is set for 10 am on July 30.

On Monday morning, the ship will arrive at Port Everglades for a series of events leading up to the ceremony. An RSVP is required for most.

Built at a cost of $1.8 billion, the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship weighs more than 7,000 tons and sits about 12 stories above the water line. The vessel will eventually head to its home port in Norfolk, Va.

In keeping with tradition, the USS Fort Lauderdale has its own motto: “Together We Fight.”

Here’s how you can help celebrate Fort Lauderdale’s namesake ship:

When: Monday, July 25, Tuesday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 27

Time: 1 pm to 3 pm RSVP required

Description: Internationally acclaimed artist Marilyn Johansen will discuss her personal salute to heroes in uniform, both past and present, with her latest exhibition honoring the military and celebrating the commissioning of the USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28).

Lease: Port Everglades, Terminal 4

Please note: Tours of the ship will not be available at this event, although the ship will be easily visible from the terminal.

RSVP Monday, July 25 – https://USSFTLArtLecture0725.eventbrite.com

RSVP Tuesday, July 26 – https://USSFTLArtLecture0726.eventbrite.com

RSVP Wednesday, July 27 – https://USSFTLArtExhibit0727.eventbrite.com

When: Tuesday, July 26

Time: 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Description: This free concert performed by musicians from the South Florida Symphony Orchestra will be one of the highlights of the week’s activities. The musical program will include rousing marches, toe-tapping Broadway and pop favorites, and inspiring patriotic anthems for the entire family.

Lease: Port Everglades, Terminal 4

Please note: Tours of the ship will not be available at this event, although the ship will be easily visible from the terminal.

RSVP https://USSFTLConcert.eventbrite.com

When: Thursday, July 28

Time: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Description: Join Capt. James Quaresimo, Fort Lauderdale officials and other distinguished guests for a solemn Wreath Laying and Remembrance Ceremony at the Lone Sailor Statue on the Riverwalk in honor of the heroes of yesterday.

Lease: Riverwalk at Esplanade Park, 400 SW Second Ave. in downtown Fort Lauderdale near the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

RSVP https://USSFTLLoneSailor0728.eventbrite.com

When: Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29

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Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Description: Take a virtual ship tour of the USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28). Thanks to the latest high-definition video technology, Capt. James Quaresimo and the crew will welcome you aboard. You then will be guided through the Navy’s newest amphibious transport dock on two LED jumbotron screens. A live Q&A session with members of the crew will follow the virtual tour.

Lease: Port Everglades, Terminal 4

Please note: In-person tours aboard the ship will not be available at this event, although the ship will be easily visible from the terminal.

RSVP Thursday, July 28 – https://USSFTLVirTour0728.eventbrite.com

RSVP Friday, July 29 – https://USSFTLVirTour0729.eventbrite.com

Susannah Bryan can be reached at sbryan@sunsentinel.com or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan

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