Giant homecoming lei debuts on Battleship Wisconsin

NORFOLK, Va. – You may have noticed the giant lei on the Battleship Wisconsin this morning.

The 70-foot-long homecoming lei will drape over the Battleship Wisconsin’s bow through Monday as the ship’s former crew members return to Norfolk this week.

“That ship is our heritage.  We were forged by our experiences. That’s why we come to Norfolk.  We get to bond with our ship,” said Ranzy Weston, president of the USS Wisconsin Association.

Homecoming leis are a U.S. Navy tradition.

The decorative wreath constructed by 20 active-duty volunteers is the first to be placed on the Battleship Wisconsin since it arrived to Nauticus in 2000.

Three generations of battleship sailors are reunited for the 30th anniversary reunion of the USS Wisconsin Association – the vessel took part in WWII, the Korean conflict, and Operation Desert Shield.

Stephen E. Kirkland, Nauticus executive director said “We recognize what this battleship means to its former crew members. Make no mistake, this is their ship.  This was our way of saying ‘Welcome Home.’”

There will be reunion activities taking place through Sunday at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, Nauticus and onboard the Battleship.