Sailors from submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40)participated in the Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton, Ore. as part of the event coordination and setup team, May 28.
The service included a flyover by the Oregon Air National Guard 142nd Fighter Wing, performances by the 60 piece American Legion Post #185 Band and several speakers including Commander Timothy Sparks, executive officer of Frank Cable, Lee Hankins, retired U.S. Navy captain, and Chris Marshall, director, regional department of Veterans Affairs.
“I was honored to attend the ceremony today,” said Hankins. “I was very surprised by the number of people in attendance, but I think it was fantastic that so many took time out from their busy lives to spend a few hours and remember all of the Americans that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live free.”
Hankins, a 1985 graduate of the University of Southern California, retired in 2011 after 35 years of service in the Navy’s submarine force.
“We in the submarine force owe everything to those who came before us; they led the way with their ingenuity, dedication and willingness to sacrifice,” said Hankins. “They are the role models for all Sailors today. To the Sailors serving today, it’s important to remember that we are all called to a higher order; we are charged with the security of our nation.”
Memorial Day was publicly proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed May 30, 1868. Memorial Day is now celebrated annually on the last Monday of May.
Veterans from every branch of the military gathered together to remember lost friends and fellow service members who died protecting the rights and freedoms of American citizens.
“It was heartwarming to see the diversity of the Veterans and service members today from every age and race; one Veteran was 102 years old, while the youngest were the Sailors of our crew that attended,” said Sparks. “The community in Portland very much appreciates our service and sacrifices, and that of the Veterans attending today. It was a great experience.”
Sailors from the Frank Cable helped set up chairs and tables before the ceremony and placed flags around the park.
“Remembering those who have fallen while serving our country is so very important. All of us who serve now, serve by honoring the traditions carried over through the generations,” said Sparks. “I know I joined the Navy to serve, and to be part of their legacy is truly an honor.”
Frank Cable Sailors have participated in several community service projects during their ship’s dry dock in Portland, Ore. Following the dry-docking and maintenance, sea trials will be conducted prior to Frank Cable transitioning back to Guam.
Frank Cable is temporarily relieved from conducting maintenance of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility by submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39).
Naval Today Staff , May 31, 2012