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    NAVSCIATTS Honors Fallen Brothers

    NAVSCIATTS Honors Fallen Brothers

    Photo By Leah Tolbert | 161013-N-JK586-101 STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- Newly-assigned Naval Special Warfare...... read more read more



    Story by Angela Fry and Leah Tolbert

    Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School

    STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – In the words of the Roman poet Virgil, “No day will erase you from the memory of time.” This quote hangs solemnly above the Fallen Warrior Hall memorial at the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School’s headquarters on the John C. Stennis Space Center, in Mississippi.

    The memorial, which features both candid and formal photographs of 92 Naval Special Warfare Sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice since Sept. 11, 2001, consists of four solid oak structures affixed to the walls of NAVSCIATTS’ main hall on its upper deck. It is practically impossible to walk through the hall and not pay homage to the sacrifices of these Troops and their families.

    “My motivation for the design of the memorial was simplicity; not something that would take away from its original intent to honor the people it was built for,” explained Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Fekete, who, along with Petty Officer 2nd Class Lance Taylor, was instrumental in the design of the memorial. “It was an honor to be a part of this project knowing that it is something that will forever be here.”

    As the staff from Naval Special Warfare Group Four’s NAVSCIATTS, Special Boat Team 22, Training Detachment Stennis, invited guests and representatives from the Dutch army amassed in the halls to view the memorial, NAVSCIATTS Commander Clay Pendergrass took the opportunity to reflect on the memories of the fallen in conjunction with the celebration of the U.S. Navy’s 241st birthday.

    “This solemn occasion should be an uplifting tribute to what makes this nation great,” expressed Pendergrass, a 27-year Navy veteran who has spent the majority of his career as a SEAL. “The examples of the best this nation has to offer, to include our partner nations, are on these walls. This is what makes the western world what it is: free.”

    Pendergrass went on to encourage all in attendance to spend time in reflection of the sacrifices of the fallen, to include the sacrifices of the United States’ partner nations. “As you walk down this hall and read about these men, remember they are sons, they are husbands, they are fathers and they are your brothers.”

    Following the unveiling and dedication of the Fallen Warrior Hall, those in attendance made their way to NAVSCIATTS’ galley, where formal ceremonies for the Navy’s birthday were held. Newly-assigned NSWG Four Commodore, Capt. J.R. Anderson, spoke during the ceremony, providing Navy history, words of encouragement and his personal thoughts on the dedication in honor of the fallen.

    “It is an honor and personal privilege to be here for this important unveiling and dedication of this hall,” Anderson explained. “It is completely overwhelming to see these faces and think about the sacrifices of the fallen warriors and their families since September 11.”

    “This is one of the most symbolic and memorable dedications I have seen due to the thoughts and such personal efforts that were put in to it,” he continued. “As you walk down the Fallen Warrior Hall, it is evident how much sacrifice has been given from members of Naval Special Warfare since September 11. An inscription on the wall reads, ‘No day shall erase you from the memory of time.’ This quote is also on the wall at the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York,” Anderson stated. “Although from a very old poem, I believe the quote is fitting as we remember and provide homage to our fallen NSW members.”

    With NAVSCIATTS’ primary mission to train and educate more than 100 partner nations’ special operations forces across the tactical, operational and strategic spectrums through in-residence and Mobile Training Teams’ courses of instruction, Anderson spoke of the sacrifices of these partner nations in the fight against global terrorism.

    “Although we have been engaged in a war on terrorism for the past 15 years, we have not been the only country that has lost sons or daughters,” Anderson said. “On the wall, there are 16 plaques with the names of their fallen listed on them, with their corresponding country’s national flag. It is very respectful and beautifully done.”

    The decision by NAVSCIATTS’ command to hold the dedication of the memorial on Oct. 13, in conjunction with the official commemoration of U.S. naval forces, was also a sentimental decision for Fekete, whose last day with the international schoolhouse is Oct. 17.

    “It is not very often in my line of work as a Seabee that I am able to see a project of this magnitude through to completion,” explained Fekete. “It is truly an honor to have been able to provide the vision and the execution for something that means so much to the NSW community.”

    Included in the 92 NSW fallen warriors who are memorialized in the halls of NAVSCIATTS are 11 members of the NSW community who were killed on June 28, 2005, when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan; and another 22 who were killed on Aug. 6, 2011, when the Chinook they were travelling in was also shot down over Afghanistan.



    Date Taken: 10.13.2016
    Date Posted: 10.14.2016 09:06
    Story ID: 211994

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