The memory of those killed during a Sept. 16, 2013, shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard will always burn brightly and the wounds will carry on for a lifetime, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said June 23.
Mabus spoke at a Navy Yard ceremony held to honor the three women and nine men who died that day after a contract employee entered the base and opened fire, as well as to honor the courage and sacrifice of numerous others.
“As a family, we grieve and continue to grieve,” Mabus said. “We gather here again as a family to recognize the heroism of those we lost and the heroism that confronted evil on that day last fall.”
“Navy Yard employees embody the mottos Semper Fortis – “always courageous” – and Semper Fidelis – “always faithful,” Mabus said.
Navy Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations, said Navy Yard personnel comprise sailors, civilians and families.
“We are all shipmates,” he said. “Last September [when] tragedy struck, shipmates demonstrated courage. Since that day, you have all embodied resilience [and] determination to continue the mission.”
About three dozen awards honored fallen Navy Yard employees and surviving co-workers, an official at the ceremony said.
Press Release, June 24, 2014; Image: US Navy