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    USS Arlington Sailors remember 9/11



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class John Bellino 

    USS Arlington (LPD 24)

    NORFOLK, Va. – Sailors assigned to the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) commemorate 9/11 with events in Norfolk, Virginia and Arlington County, Virginia, Sept. 8-11.

    A ceremony honoring Thomas Gardner, the father of an Arlington Sailor, was held on the ship’s barge at General Dynamics/NASSCO shipyard, Sept. 8.

    Gardner was a firefighter assigned to Squad 288 / Hazmat 1 out of Queens, New York and responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11, where he ultimately lost his life.

    Lt. j.g. Christopher Gardner, assigned to Arlington, and his sister Amy Gardner, who made the trip from New York, thanked Arlington Sailors for taking the time to honor their father and spoke about his accomplishments as a father and dedicated firefighter.

    “Being able to serve aboard a ship that honors the ultimate sacrifice my father made on that fateful day is a dream come true,” said Gardner. “This opportunity is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

    50 Arlington Sailors traveled to Arlington County, Virginia for a series of ceremonies and events, culminating with the Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K race, Sept. 9.

    The first stop was Arlington County Fire Station #5, where Sailors participated in a ceremony to remember the 184 lives lost during the 9/11 attack at the Pentagon.

    “It is an amazing tribute,” said Capt. Ian Scaliatine, commanding officer of Arlington. “It is important to pass on the tradition of never forgetting.”

    It has been an ongoing mission for the ship since being commissioned in 2013 to maintain a connection with the Arlington Community Alliance, who work around the clock to keep these memorials operational.

    “We want to recognize and maintain that relationship,” said State Del. Patrick Hope, vice chairman of the alliance, while speaking at the fire house ceremonies.

    Sailors then toured the Pentagon memorial, Bozman County government center and Arlington National Cemetery before switching out their dress shoes for tennis shoes and participating in the Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K race.

    A little rain dampened the roadways, but it couldn’t dampen the spirits of first responders, service members, and civilians alike as they passed under an oversized American flag, draped from two fire trucks.

    On Sept. 11, 2023, at 8:46 a.m., 10 bells rang throughout the ship, followed by a series of 10 bells at each associated time of the 9/11 attacks. A description of each event was read over the loudspeaker and concluded with “we remember.”

    Arlington is stationed in Norfolk, Virginia and is one of three 9/11 namesake ships in the U.S. Navy, along with USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Somerset (LPD 25). Arlington maintains a small 9/11 museum aboard the ship, making it one of the only ships besides aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy to have an onboard museum.



    Date Taken: 09.11.2023
    Date Posted: 09.11.2023 15:57
    Story ID: 453170

    Web Views: 79
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