LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Hundreds of people spent Sunday evening at MacArthur Park, celebrating the Stars and Stripes.
The annual Flag Day concert had a big crowd, but it also had 15 special guests. They're sailors assigned to the new USS Little Rock.
They toured the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History Sunday, and they'll meet with city leaders, perform community service projects, and spend time with local teens. They're here to learn more about the city they'll represent when they serve aboard the USS Little Rock.
USS Little Rock crew visits namesake
"It matters a lot, I mean, because you don't want to mess up or anything like that, because that's a reflection onto the city. It's that name, you have to take care of it. It's like your last name, you know, you don't want to bring bad shame to your name. You don't want to do anything wrong, because people are going to remember that in the future,” said E-4 Cruz Garza with the USS Little Rock.
The Little Rock is a littoral combat ship, a new class of boat designed to patrol close to shore. It's still in testing, and will eventually be based near Jacksonville, Florida. It'll be the second USS Little Rock. The first one was a cruiser that is now part of a museum in Buffalo, New York, and the sailors are excited to honor it and its crew, as well.
"We're going to get to commission our ship back to back with her, up in New York. And that's going to be awesome, so we're not only carrying the name of the city, we're carrying the name of another cruiser that fought in World War II. So it's pretty big shoes to fill,” said Ensign Samantha Robbins with the USS Little Rock.
The 15 sailors will be here in town through Wednesday, which is actually Flag Day. The USS Little Rock will likely be commissioned in September.