CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicagoans are flocking to Navy Pier for Navy Week, and visitors are getting an up-close look at some Navy warships.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner reports, the ships are on their first scheduled cruise in the Great Lakes since 1999, and they’ll be docked at Navy Pier for tours.

Capt. Mark Jenkins appreciates the navy getting so much attention, telling Newsradio “it’s very, very, very cool. It’s very exciting to see this, it’s really a rush.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner reports

Jon Dahl served aboard the U.S.S. Chicago in the 1970s and he and other vets came back to paint the anchor which is now on display at Navy Pier.

He told Newsradio that he and his fellow veterans “have all served outside of the country. We have seen what the rest of the world is like. My feeling is that everybody should have some time out of the country to see just how good we have it here in the United States.”

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole spent Wednesday morning aboard one of the ships, the U.S.S. De Wert.

The sailors are also celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

That war was fought in part on the Great Lakes and led to a treaty in which the U.S. and Canada agreed to demilitarize the Great Lakes.

Navy Week leads up to Chicago’s annual Air and Water Show over the weekend.

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels will be among those performing.

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