USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sailors paused to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks in a memorial ceremony aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Sept. 11.
The ceremony, held in the ship’s forecastle, was organized by Stennis’ chief petty officer selectees and honored the memory of those who lost their lives during the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Somerset County, Pa. Sept. 11, 2001.
“We featured the names of all 125 personnel who died at the Pentagon when flight 77 crashed and displayed a flag that was salvaged from the world trade center and given to us in honor of our first strike in retaliation for the attack,” said Chief (select) Personnel Specialist Marianogerard Zamora, master of ceremony for the event.
After the attacks, Stennis deployed in November 2001, two months earlier than planned, to support Operation Enduring Freedom and, in December, conducted the first aircraft carrier-launched strikes against terrorist forces Afghanistan.
Also during the ceremony, clips from news footage of the attacks was displayed on a projector screen and a narrative was read detailing the sequence of events leading up to the attacks.
“We wanted to connect the deepest possible meaning of this event with the audience,” said Chief (select) Electronics Technician David Corbin, the event coordinator.
“This is our way of reminding ourselves of our mission, why we’re here,” said Zamora.
The service not only reminded Sailors of the events from 12 years ago but also made a personal connection for many.
“One of my best friends was a volunteer fire fighter at 9/11,” said Zamora. “He was one of the first responders and was lucky enough not to have been killed. He later joined the Navy as a Master-at-Arms. From what he tells me about the experience there, it’s something that will never leave him and it shaped who he is.”
Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
Press Release, September 13, 2013