A very distinguished group filled the deck of the Battleship North Carolina Monday evening. Veterans and current service members of all ages paid tribute to those who have died while defending the United States. Joining them were civilians who came to honor, pay respects, and remember. “We’re from Pennsylvania, but coming from the ceremony, sort of ties things together, not being able to visit the grave sites in Pennsylvania,” said John Leonard. “We’re very thankful that opportunities like this occur.”
Leo Bostwick served on Battleship North Carolina and said, “I haven’t missed one of these memorial services since I’ve been living down here and I couldn’t miss this one, either. It’s in my blood.” Bostwick attended the service on the very ship he served upon during World War II.
A family came from Raleigh and chose to bring the kids here, rather than send them to school, which was in session in Wake County. “There’s a time for school and there’s a time for learning about the past and in order for them to learn about their future, they need to learn about the past first,” said Laura Mahabhashyam.
General Gary North from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina was the guest speaker. “As a senior commander, to be committing young men and women to combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, yeah, it’s a huge day for us,” he said.
The ceremony concluded with the throwing of a wreath overboard; a Navy tradition that silently spoke volumes on this special evening.
This was the 44th Memorial Day observance aboard the Battleship North Carolina.