Navy Week ships arrive in New Orleans

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The Coast Guard cutter Eagle, America’s Tall Ship, arrived Tuesday at the Bienville Wharf, as part of their 2012 cruise celebrating Operation Sail 2012 and the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

The Eagle is open for free public tours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

At 295 feet in length, the Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square rigger in U.S. government service.

Two local high school students received rides aboard Eagle Tuesday as guests of honor during the Parade of Sail at the start of NOLA Navy Week.

Stuart Young of Sunset, and Madison Matherne of Marrero, respectively, were chosen by judges as winners for their Operation Sail art and essay entries.

The contest, announced in February, invited high school students to submit original artwork and essays on themes related to the War of 1812, The Star-Spangled Banner, or the role of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (forerunner of the Coast Guard) in the War of 1812. One winner in each category wins a parade of sail trip on Eagle during OpSail 2012, accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Click here for the full announcement with photo gallery.