Ever since it was announced earlier this week that the U.S. aircraft carrier, Abraham Lincoln, would be coming into port in Palma next week there has been a certain buzz around the island. People I have not heard or seen for years telephoned me to ask whether the giant warship would be open to the public and I have an enormous shopping list for caps and lighters from friends and colleagues, so fingers crossed that the carrier´s shop will be open.
The U.S. Navy has always received a warm welcome in Palma. Visits by U.S. warships have declined sharply over recent years, the Abraham Lincoln is the first carrier to visit in almost five years, but a strong bond exists between the island and the Navy.
It must be said that the U.S. Navy has worked long and hard to develop this relationship over many years. My first taste of the 7Up soft drink was thanks to the U.S. Navy; a group of sailors came to Puigpunyent, where I was living, and gave all the children in the village a lunch of hamburgers and soft drinks.
The Lincoln will be accompanied by a Spanish Navy destroyer when it visits Palma underlining the close relationship which exists between the two navies. The aircraft carrier has a crew of almost 6,000 people and she is presently on a world cruise to “show the flag” and re-assure allies.
In Majorca she will be one of the talking points over the Easter holiday. Thousands of photographs of this giant warship will be taken during her time in Palma. Let us hope that the weather stays fine and the welcome is as warm as the Majorcan sunshine because the U.S. navy are great ambassadors for their country.