ARABIAN GULF (Sept. 11, 2015) – Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) honored the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack during a remembrance ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay Sept. 11, 2015.
During the ceremony, TR’s choir performed an original song, a memorial wreath was cast over the side and TR’s honor guard rendered a 21-gun salute.
Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, reflected on his deployment aboard TR in 2001 directly following the attacks.
“We sailed east from Norfolk, Virginia, knowing only that our country had been attacked by an organization known as Al Qaeda, who trained in the landlocked country of Afghanistan. By early October, 2001, we had found ourselves in the North Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan. We began flying missions into Afghanistan in the middle of the night, doing our nation’s bidding in response to the 9/11 attacks,” said Kelley. “Never have I witnessed such focus and determination of a crew. Never have I seen such resolve in every effort to answer our nation’s call, and never have I felt so committed to the task.
Capt. Craig Clapperton, commanding officer of TR, spoke during the ceremony about the events that occurred on 9/11.
“There are so many stories of heroism, bravery, tragedy and sadness that surround 9/11,” said Clapperton. “It’s important to remember that fateful day because 3,000 Americans died in the tragic and cowardly attacks on our country, and because millions of more Americans were close to and had loved ones that perished that day. It was the first time our nation had been attacked on our home soil in more than 60 years. It was an event that really defined the first 15 years of this century.”
Chief selects aboard TR and embarked commands organized and conducted the remembrance ceremony.
“As the captain stated earlier, many of us can remember exactly what we were doing on Sept. 11, 2001. We remember how it affected our lives, how it affected our careers, and most importantly, how it affected our country,” said Aviation Ordnance Chief (select) Charles Hart, from Gates, North Carolina, master of ceremony.
Aviation Ordnance Chief (select) Timothy Grier attended the event and played Taps on the bugle immediately following the wreath laying.
“9/11 showed the strength of our country and how we’re able to bounce back from anything,” said Grier, from Charlotte, North Carolina.
For Grier, the ceremony was a reminder of what he is fighting for. He said it was inspirational and hopes it inspired many of the junior Sailors who attended.
Theodore Roosevelt is the flagship of the TRCSG, which is composed of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 2 staff, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Farragut (DDG 90) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
Roosevelt is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region.
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