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First responders to the Boston Marathon bombings received a 21-gun salute from the USS Constitution on its first voyage of the year Tuesday morning.
On board the Constitution were over 300 members of Boston Fire and Police departments, State Police, MBTA Police, Watertown Police and the Massachusetts National Guard, as well as medical personnel from Boston EMS, Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Pushed by tugboats, the 215-year-old Constitution — the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat — made its way from its berth in the Charlestown Navy Yard to Castle Island. Leading the way was a Boston harbor fireboat with all its water cannons spraying. The Constitution's cannons fired just off Fort Independence.
Liz Feitelberg, the widow of a firefighter, came to Castle Island to watch with a group of retired and active firefighters.
"It's historic, it's something not many people get to enjoy, it's a beautiful day, it's free," Feitelberg said. "They're honoring some of our friends that went through a tragic event."
As the ship was turned back toward the inner harbor, the sound of Dropkick Murphys' "Shipping Up To Boston" could be faintly heard from the decks.
WBUR's Patrick Kelley contributed to this story.
This program aired on June 4, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
George Hicks Senior Producer/Technical Director, Special Projects
George Hicks is the former technical director/producer for special projects and Open Source with Christopher Lydon. He has recorded jazz greats Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett and Roscoe Mitchell among others, and plays and composes jazz in his spare time.
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