USS Constitution to pay tribute to Vietnam veterans

BOSTON (AP) — The USS Constitution is taking a trip across Boston Harbor in honor of Vietnam veterans and to mark the 50th anniversary of full-scale U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

The world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat is scheduled to leave its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard Friday morning and be guided by tugs to Fort Independence in South Boston where it will fire a 21-gun salute in the direction of the South Boston Vietnam Memorial. The Concord Battery and 101st Field Artillery from the Massachusetts National Guard will return the salute.

Nearly 500 Vietnam War veterans will join military and civic leaders on the journey.

"Old Ironsides" also will fire a 17-gun salute as it passes the U.S. Coast Guard station, the former site of the shipyard where the Constitution was built and launched in 1797.