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 September 2, 2014

News: Debris yields clues that pilot never ejected - When investigators were finally able to safely enter the crash site of an F-15C “Eagle” fighter jet on the afternoon of Aug. 27, they made a grim discovery that concluded more than 30 hours of searching – the pilot never managed to eject from the aircraft.  ...
 
 

News Briefs September 2, 2014

Pentagon: Iraq operations cost $560 million so far U.S. military operations in Iraq, including airstrikes and surveillance flights, have cost about $560 million since mid-June, the Pentagon said Aug. 29. Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the average daily cost has been $7.5 million. He said it began at a much lower...
 
 

Unmanned aircraft partnership reaches major milestone

A team of research students and staff from Warsaw University of Technology have successfully demonstrated the first phase of flight test and integration of unmanned aircraft platforms with an autonomous mission control system. The demonstration marks a significant milestone in a partnership between the university and Lockheed Martin that began earlier this year. This is...
 

 

Raytheon delivers first Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles to US Navy

Raytheon delivered the first Block 2 variant of its Rolling Airframe Missile system to the U.S. Navy as part of the company’s 2012 Low Rate Initial Production contract. RAM Block 2 is a significant performance upgrade featuring enhanced kinematics, an evolved radio frequency receiver, and an improved control system. “As today’s threats continue to evolve,...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Two Vietnam War Soldiers, one from Civil War to receive Medal of Honor

U.S. Army graphic Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins and former Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat will receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam. The White House announced Aug. 26 that Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. A...
 
 

Sparks fly as NASA pushes limits of 3-D printing technology

NASA has successfully tested the most complex rocket engine parts ever designed by the agency and printed with additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, on a test stand at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA engineers pushed the limits of technology by designing a rocket engine injector – a highly complex part that...
 




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>