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In Appreciation: Thank you, Duluth, for your patriotism and support for the Navy

I want to express my sincere appreciation to Duluthians for their hospitality during Navy Week Duluth last week. At every event — and even when just out walking around — I felt personally welcomed to your outstanding city and community. Your patriotism and interest in the Navy was truly inspiring.

The men and women of your Navy are serving around the world and around the clock to preserve our way of life. And we feel particularly connected to maritime cities such as Duluth, where international trade is so important. An estimated 90 percent of all world commerce travels by sea, and more than

$20 billion worth of Minnesota products depend on the sea to reach its markets. We in the Navy are committed to preserving the safety of these commercial shipping lanes as well as sea lines of communication.

Patriotism and support of the Navy were especially evident in Duluth at the anchor dedication ceremony for the USS Duluth. She bore the name of your community around the globe for more than 40 years and served with both pride and distinction. The memorial that was unveiled during Navy Week Duluth was a fitting tribute to the ship and to the men who served aboard her.

Again, thank you for a wonderful week, one I will never forget. As President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same; or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States, where men were free.”

Rear Adm. Dave Duryea of Washington, D.C., was the senior-most Naval official in attendance at Navy Week Duluth last week.