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    NMCP Hosts September 11th Remembrance Ceremony

    NMCP Hosts September 11th Remembrance Ceremony

    Photo By Seaman Imani Daniels | 180911-N-UA653-018 – HMC Eduardo Colon brought in his stones from the rubble at the...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Laura Myers 

    Naval Medical Center - Portsmouth

    Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) 1st class petty officers who have been selected for advancement to chief petty officer hosted a remembrance ceremony on Sept. 11.

    During the ceremony, there was a slideshow presentation of images from that day, 17 years ago, when America was attacked. Guests bowed their heads in prayer.

    “Heavenly Father, we gather here today to show our deepest respect and honor for the souls that were lost on this day 17 years ago in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania,” said Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Roona Jackson during her invocation.

    A timeline of that day’s attacks were read aloud with a toll of a bell for each event.

    “September 11th began as any normal day would in America,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Brittany Farmer, the master of ceremonies. “However, the events of that morning would quickly unfold and change all of our lives forever. Al-Qaeda terrorist aboard three hijacked passenger planes carried out a coordinated suicide attack in New York City against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.”

    The guest speaker for the ceremony, Hospital Corpsman Chief Petty Officer Eduardo Colon, an NMCP staff member, shared his story of that day. He had only been in the Navy for six months and was called upon to provide medical support at the Pentagon. He explained how he just reported for duty at the U.S. Navy hospital located in Bethesda, Maryland.

    He mentioned that he was at the hospital for an appointment with his wife who was six months pregnant with their first child. He described the panic as word gets around about the attacks.

    “The power and services to that hospital went down so the only thing available was a pay phone, and people were rushing to that pay phone to try to find out what was going on,” Colon said.

    He added that before he joined the Navy, he was an American Red Cross volunteer and his job was to respond to disasters. “As soon as I got home, the phone rings, it just kept ringing,” Colon said. “I picked up the phone and it was the Red Cross calling and saying we need you to go to New York, there’s been an attack.”

    He continued to explain how he was unable to report to New York due to being in the Navy and that his wife having a high-risk pregnancy. Instead, he went as part of a team from the then hospital to care for those at the Pentagon.

    “We, here at First and Finest (NMCP), we say we’re one team one fight, and that’s exactly what we were doing on that day,” Colon said. “Was it chaotic? Yes. Was it painful? Yes.”

    Colon brought in his stones from the rubble at the Pentagon. Colon called each of the first class petty officers who were selected for chief petty officer to the stage with him. As he talked about going through the season when he made chief, he explained how his wife put together a bag of stones.

    “These stones represent the people that worked that day, the people that died that day, every person that responded that day,” Colon said. “They represent the flag.”

    He finished his speech by asking everyone to reach out and support those who have friends and family in and from those areas.

    “Remember that someone suffered for the cost; that while you are having a nice day, there’s people grieving this moment because it’s very somber, very painful to them,” Colon said.

    Following Colon’s personal recount of the day, Farmer spoke about the U.S. Navy ships that were named in honor of those attacks.

    “The Navy commemorates September 11th with three ships,” Farmer said. “Ship names provide a legacy, and for the Sailors and Marines who sail on those ships, they are a source of strength and inspiration.”

    “USS New York, USS Arlington and USS Somerset are living tributes to every hero who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93.”

    USS New York (LPD 21) is the fifth San Antonio-class Amphibious Transport Dock built and the fifth in the Navy named after New York. It was built with 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in her bow and was commissioned in New York City on November 7, 2009.

    USS Arlington (LPD 24) is the eighth San Antonio-class Amphibious Transport Dock and the third ship in the Navy named after Arlington, Virginia. The ship was named in commemoration of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and therefore, steel from the Pentagon is displayed onboard the USS Arlington.

    USS Somerset (LPD 25) is the ninth San Antonio-class Amphibious Transport Dock and the fifth ship in the Navy to carry the name Somerset. It is named in honor of the courageous passengers and crew of United Airlines flight 93. Their actions prevented terrorist hijackers from reaching their destination, only to have their airplane crash near Shanksville, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

    The ceremony concluded with Jackson delivering the benediction.

    “As we reflect on today’s ceremony, we ask that you continue to heal and bless our nation,” Jackson said. “In our healing, we ask that you help us to remember with a grateful heart, the principles that we, as a nation, have been built on, that through perseverance, tenacity and faith, we shall overcome.”



    Date Taken: 09.11.2018
    Date Posted: 09.18.2018 11:51
    Story ID: 293296
    Location: PORTSMOUTH, VA, US 

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