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SAN DIEGO — Fleet Week kicked off in San Diego Thursday with a host of events aimed at celebrating the men and women who serve our country.

In its 20th year, the idea behind Fleet Week is to honor the men and women of the military with a series of events and entertainment. Organizers say the tradition, taking place Nov. 4-11 at the pier and Port Pavilion on the Embarcadero, also gives the public a chance to see warships and planes up-close while gaining a better understanding of the work of U.S. military members.

The San Diego Police Department helped escort equipment for the event from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to the Broadway Pier downtown Wednesday afternoon. This year’s festivities then kicked off Thursday with “Student Stem Days,” which allows students to get hands-on with new and emerging technologies.

The event will also feature tours of active duty Navy and Coast Guard ships, live music, food and other activities.

FOX 5 talked with Fleet Week San Diego Associate Executive Director Maggie Young, who has been part of the event since its onset. She said it is very special to America’s Finest City.

“It’s important because we have the largest concentration of military in the United States here in San Diego, and people get to come out and tour the ships, find out what goes on on a ship, on a cutter and just to honor and thank the people that are out here,” Young said.

Celebrations wrap up with the Fleet Week Foundation Veteran’s Day Boat Parade on Nov. 11.