WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington has once again been recognized as a Coast Guard City. It's an honor shared by just 13 other cities across the country.
A ceremony this morning marked the third time the city has been received the honor. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Ratti presented a plaque to Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.
The designation is not permanent. Communities must reapply every five years.
Rear Adm. Ratti says Wilmington is a special place to the men and women who serve here.
"Wilmington has really stepped up to the plate and supported our men and women that are active duty in the Coast Guard, in the reserve and in the auxiliary, and it really helped out a lot," he said.
Wilmington has included the Coast Guard as a centerpiece in its downtown events, including the annual Azalea Festival and Riverfest celebrations.
Local organizations and the crew of the Diligence are planning a big celebration for the 50th anniversary of the Coast Guard cutter next summer.