Veterans

March 11, 2013

USS Monitor unknown dailors honored at Arlington National Cemetery

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus delivers remarks at a military funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery for two Sailors recovered from the ironclad USS Monitor. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in 1862.

The U.S. Navy honored two unknown Sailors, found inside the sunken USS Monitor during an expedition to recover artifacts in 2002, with an interment ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, March 8.

Special guests at the ceremony included Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Kathryn Sullivan and James McPherson, Professor of American History, Emeritus, Princeton University.

Mabus spoke on the sacrifice the Sailors made during the Civil War and the importance of honoring the crew who paved the way for the modern Navy.

“This ceremony also honors every individual who ever put to sea in defense of our country,” said Mabus. “From the Marblehead men who rowed Washington across the Delaware, to these brave souls, to those who serve today in nuclear-powered carriers and submarines, Sailors have always been the same; they are at heart risk-takers, willing – even eager – to brave the unknown to peer past distant horizons.”

The date for the ceremony was chosen to recognize a historic day in naval history, the day Monitor arrived in Hampton Roads before its famous battle with Confederate iron clad CSS Virginia which took place 151 years ago March 9, 1962. Known as the Battle of Hampton Roads, it was the first fight between two iron-armored ships. Although the battle ended in a draw, Monitor fulfilled her orders to protect the Union ship Minnesota.

“This was one of the most important naval battles in history, one of those rare occasions when technology raced ahead of our understanding of how to fully employ it,” said Capt. Henry Hendrix, director of Naval History and Heritage Command. “The battle between USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia will always serve as an anchor point for U.S. naval history.”

The Monitor would only serve until Dec. 31, 1862 when she sank near Cape Hatteras, off the coast of North Carolina. She remained sunken for 112 years until the wreckage was discovered in 1974, and was designated the nation’s first national marine sanctuary.

One of two sailors recovered from the ironclad USS Monitor is escorted by Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Nathaniel Crow, a member of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, during a funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in 1862.

In 2002, during an expedition to recover the ship’s gun turret, the remains of two sailors were discovered and transported to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

During Sullivan’s remarks to the more than 200 who attended the chapel service, she read a letter written by Dr. Grenville Weeks, the surgeon aboard the Monitor, which expressed his feelings on losing the sunken ship and his devotion to ensure she is remembered by future generations.

“Just as the crew of the Monitor fought tirelessly to keep their ‘old-time knight in armor’ afloat that day, so have many worked tirelessly since her loss to fulfill Dr. Weeks’ commitment to the ship, and her crew and to the 16 souls who were lost that night,” said Sullivan. “Today we take another somber step, laying two of her sailors to rest in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery. As we do so, let us all reaffirm our own commitment, to forever remember the work of the Monitor and to ensure her story is told to our children’s children.”

With the help of facial reconstruction created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Louisiana State University’s Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services Laboratory, JPAC continues to search for the identity of the two Sailors.

In keeping with the Navy’s tradition to honor a service member’s final resting place, possible descendants of 30 family members from 10 different families, confirmed through a biological profile created by JPAC, were invited to take part in the ceremony.

Members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard place the remains of two sailors recovered from the ironclad USS Monitor onto caissons during a military funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in 1862.

“It’s amazing – what they went through and what we have today, and it’s a blessing to be here to pay final tribute to the [service members] who have given their lives to help us have a better life,” said Jamie Nicklis, descendant of Jacob Nicklis, one of the 16 sailors honored during the ceremony. “It was a beautiful service that they provided for us, and we are very thankful for the government and our country and for all the families here today.”

The unknown sailors and 14 other crew members who died as the Monitor sank will be memorialized on a group marker in section 46 of the cemetery.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines March 30, 2015

News: Pentagon chief mulls easing military enlistment standards - Defense Secretary Ash Carter is considering easing some military enlistment standards as part of a broader set of initiatives to better attract and keep quality service members and civilians across the Defense Department.   Business: Lockheed pays $2 million to settle government overbilling charges - Lockheed Martin Corpor...
 
 

News Briefs March 30, 2015

Landing mishap for military chopper; two aboard unhurt Two Navy officers were unhurt after their helicopter rolled on its side while landing in the Florida Panhandle. The mishap happened the night of March 27 at a Navy landing site in Pensacola, Fla. The Pensacola News Journal reports a pilot instructor and a student were able...
 
 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht

Laser-based aircraft countermeasure provides ‘unlimited rounds’ against MANPADS

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter prepares to depart Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Jan 7, 2012. The Apache conducts distributed operations, precision strikes against relocat...
 

 

Navy, Air Force advocate for modernizing combat aviation

Top Navy and Air Force officials today told the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2016 will support modernizing combat aviation programs. Cavy Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisitions; Air...
 
 

Raytheon wins $46 million contract for South Korean Global Hawk ground stations

Raytheon has been awarded a contract valued at up to $45.7 million by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for ground segments in support of four Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems recently purchased by the Republic of Korea. Under this contract, Raytheon will deliver one building-based and one mobile ground segment to locations in South Korea. Work...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo

McConnell community marks B-29 rollout

Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo A B-29 Superfortress aircraft, named Doc after its nose art, sit on the flightline March 23, 2015, in Wichita, Kan. Doc will be one of two Superfortresses in the world capable of fl...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>