CLASS OF 1963 REUNION

                                REMARKS BY JOE STRASSER AT MEMORIAL SERVICE

 

 

GOOD MORNING, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL NAVY DAYAND SO DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE

 

FIVE YEARS AGO WHEN WE GATHERED FOR OUR  40TH REUNION AS HURRICANE ISABEL

 

PASSED BY. WITH RESPECT TO THIS 45TH REUNION,TO PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE, THE

 

MIDSHIPMEN THAT YOU WILL SEE IN THE YARD OR IN TOWN THIS WEEKEND BEAR THE

 

SAME GENERATIONAL RELATIONSHIP TO US AS WE DID AS MIDSHIPMEN TO THOSE

 

WHO FOUGHT IN THE BEGINNING OF WW I.  KIND OF A SOBERING THOUGHT.

 

 

 

AS WE CELEBRATE OUR 45TH REUNION AND PASS, SOME BY A GREATER MARGIN THAN

 

OTHERS, OUR 65TH BIRTHDAY WE BECOME, LIKE IT OR NOT, A GEEZER. ONE SIGN OF

 

BECOMING A GEEZER IS WHEN YOU BEND OVER TO TIE YOUR SHOE YOU LOOK

 

AROUND TO SEE WHAT ELSE YOU MIGHT ACCOMPLISH WHILE YOU'RE DOWN THERE. I

 

STUMBLED ACROSS A DEFINITION OF GEEZER THE OTHER DAY WHICH I THOUGHT I'D

 

SHARE WITH YOU.  "GEEZERS ARE EASY TO SPOT; THIS IS SLANG FOR AN OLD MAN.

 

BUT, AT SPORTING EVENTS DURING THE PLAYING OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, THEY

 

HOLD THEIR CAPS OVER THEIR HEARTS AND SING WITHOUT EMBARRASSMENT. THEY

 

KNOW THE WORDS AND BELIEVE IN THEM. THEY REMEMBER THE ATOMIC AGE, THE

 

KOREAN WAR, THE COLD WAR, THE JET AGE AND THE MOON LANDING, NOT TO

 

MENTION VIETNAM.

 

 

 

IF YOU BUMP INTO A GEEZER ON THE SIDEWALK, HE'LL APOLOGIZE, PASS A GEEZER

 

ON THE STREET, HE'LL NOD, OR TIP HIS HAT TO A LADY. GEEZERS TRUST STRANGERS

 

AND ARE COURTLY TO WOMEN. THEY HOLD THE DOOR FOR THE NEXT PERSON AND

 

ALWAYS WHEN WALKING, MAKE SURE THE LADY IS ON THE INSIDE FOR PROTECTION.

 

GEEZERS GET EMBARRASSED IF SOMEONE CURSES IN FRONT OF WOMEN AND

 

CHILDREN AND THEY DON'T LIKE VIOLENCE AND FILTH ON TV AND IN MOVIES.

 

GEEZERS HAVE MORAL COURAGE AND THEY SELDOM BRAG UNLESS IT'S ABOUT

 

THEIR GRANDCHILDREN IN LITTLE LEAGUE OR MUSIC RECITALS.

 

 

 

THIS COUNTRY NEEDS GEEZERS WITH THEIR DECENT VALUES AND COMMON SENSE.

 

WE NEED THEM NOW MORE THAN EVER. IT'S THE GEEZERS WHO KNOW OUR GREAT

 

COUNTRY IS PROTECTED, NOT BY POLITICIANS, BUT BY THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN

 

IN THE MILITARY SERVING THEIR COUNTRY IN FOREIGN LANDS, JUST AS THEY DID,

 

WITHOUT A THOUGHT EXCEPT TO DO A GOOD JOB, THE BEST THEY CAN, AND TO GET

 

HOME TO LOVED ONES.  THANK GOD FOR GEEZERS."

 

 

 

WE GATHER HERE ON THESE GROUNDS WHERE IT ALL BEGAN 45 YEARS AGO AND IN

 

THIS HALLOWED PLACE WHERE WE MUSTERED EVERY SUNDAY MORNING DURING

 

OUR FOUR YEARS ON THE SEVERN. THIS MAGNIFICENT BUILDING, NOW  OFTEN

 

REFERED TO AS THE CATHEDRAL OF THE NAVY, WAS WHERE WE CAME

 

PARTICULARLY DURING PLEBE YEAR FOR HELP, PEACE, TRANQUILTY, AND QUIET

 

DURING THE BUSY, STRESSFUL AND CHAOTIC TIMES WHICH WE EXPERIENCED

 

PRIMARILY DUE, AT LEAST IN MY CASE, TO THE BENEVOLENCE OF THE CLASS OF 1961.

 

 

 

OUR ADULTHOOD BEGAN HERE ON JULY 7, 1959, WHEN 1205 YOUNG MEN

 

ARRIVED  FROM EVERY STATE AND SEVERAL ALLIED NATIONS TO BEGIN A LIFE

 

OF SERVICE TO  OUR BELOVED COUNTRIES. FORGED IN THE FIRES OF HONOR,

 

DISCIPLINE, RESPECT AND OBEDIENCE, WE LEARNED WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A

 

CLASSMATE AND TO  BE CONCERNED ABOUT SOMEONE OTHER THAN OURSELVES. WE

 

REMEMBERED IN PARTICULAR ONE OF THE LAWS OF THE NAVY… " ON THE STRENGTH

 

OF ONE LINK IN THE CABLE DEPENDTH THE MIGHT OF THE CHAIN. WHO KNOWS WHEN

 

THOU MAYEST BE TESTED SO LIVE THAT THOU BEAREST THE STRAIN."

 

 

 

AND SO WE DID, AND DURING OUR FOUR YEARS HERE WE LOST A NUMBER OF

 

CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS.  THESE WERE GOOD MEN, FINE CLASSMATES, WHO

 

DISCOVERED THIS LIFE WAS NOT TO BE FOR THEM. AND SO WE REMEMBER SOME 325

 

WHO BEGAN THE JOURNEY WITH US BUT WERE NOT AMONG THE 876 WHO THREW

 

THEIR CAPS IN THE AIR ON JUNE 5, 1963.

 

 

 

AS WE LEFT MOTHER BANCROFT FOR THE LAST TIME WE WERE YOUNG, HAPPY, FOR

 

THE MOST PART CAREFREE, AND EXCITED ABOUT REPORTING TO OUR FIRST DUTY

 

STATION. WE DID NOT THINK ABOUT DEATH, OR VIETNAM, WHICH WAS JUST OVER

 

THE HORIZON, OR THE SACRIFICES AND HARDSHIPS THAT MANY OF US WOULD

 

ENDURE.

 

 

 

IN THE EARLY 1900'S, PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT HAD THIS TO SAY,  "IT IS NOT

 

THE CRITIC WHO COUNTS, NOT THE ONE WHO TELLS THE DOER OF DEEDS HOW  HE

 

MIGHT HAVE DONE THEM BETTER. THE REAL CREDIT BELONGS TO THE MAN IN THE

 

ARENA, WHOSE FACE IS MARRED WITH DUST AND SWEAT AND TEARS,WHO STRIVES

 

MIGHTILY, KNOWS THE FEELING OF HIGH ACHIEVEMENT AND SPENDS HIMSELF IN A

 

WORTHY CAUSE. AND IF HE FAILS, AT LEAST FAILS WHILE DARING GREAT SO THAT

 

HIS PLACE WILL NEVER BE AMONG THOSE POOR AND TIMID SOULS WHO KNOW

 

NEITHER VICTORY NOR DEFEAT."

 

 

 

WHILE MOST OF US DID NOT REALIZE IT, ON JUNE 5TH, 1963, WE STEPPED INTO THE

 

ARENA AND WE WOULD SPEND OURSELVES IN A WORTHY CAUSE. WE DID NOT THINK

 

ABOUT DEATH, YET TWO OF OUR CLASSMATES, RICHARD BRYANT FROM THE 4TH

 

COMPANY, AND BART BARTLETT,  22ND COMPANY, DIED IN MAY 1963.  AND  SO WE

 

REMEMBER THEM TODAY.

 

 

 

THE FIRST OF OUR CLASSMATES TO DIE IN THE LINE OF DUTY AFTER GRADUATION

 

WAS TOM PUCKETT, 15TH COMPANY, ON NOVEMBER 19,1963. AND THEN CAME VIETNAM

 

AND THIRTEEN OF OUR CLASSMATES MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE DURING THAT

 

WAR, LIVING OUT THE NAVY'S CORE VALUES OF HONOR, COURAGE AND

 

 COMMITMENT. CARL DOUGHTIE, 3RD COMPANY, WAS THE FIRST ON JUNE 10,1965. HE

 

WAS FOLLOWED BY JOHN WORCESTER , 18TH COMPANY; DON MAC LAUGHLIN, 2ND

 

COMPANY; JERRYPINNEKER, 15TH COMPANY; CHUCK MARIK 3RD COMPANY; SKIP

 

TEMPLIN 22ND COMPANY; DAN MORAN, 13TH COMPANY; DOC PALENSCAR, 19TH

 

COMPANY; JIM PATTERSON, 16TH COMPANY; BILL FITZGERALD, 2ND COMPANY; RICK

 

TRANI,19TH COMPANY;  STAN SMILEY, 5TH COMPANY; AND KEN BUELL, 3RD COMPANY,

 

OUR LAST CLASSMATE TO GIVE HIS LIFE IN VIETNAM.

 

 

 

STEVE TOTH, 24TH COMPANY, WAS ALSO KILLED IN HOSTILE ACTION ABOARD THE USS

 

LIBERTY IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN ON  JUNE 8,1967.

 

 

 

I CAN'T JUST LET VIETNAM PASS WITH THOSE BRIEF WORDS. IT IS TOO MUCH A PART

 

OF US INDIVIDUALLY AND AS  A CLASS. I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING MORE OF

 

THE REMARKABLE MEN FROM THE CLASS OF 1963 WHO SERVED US ALL SO WELL IN

 

THAT WAR.

 

 

 

BILL FITZGERALD'S FATHER WAS A RETIRED CHIEF PETTY OFFICER AND SO PROUD OF

 

HIS SON. ON AUGUST 7, 1967, BILL WAS SERVING AS THE SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE

 

VIETNAMESE NAVY'S COASTAL GROUP 16 WHEN THEIR CAMP CAME UNDER HEAVY

 

ATTACK. THE CITATION FOR HIS NAVY CROSS READS IN PART;  "THE ENEMY FIRE

 

SOON BECAME TOO INTENSE FOR THE OUTNUMBERED BASE DEFENSE FORCE TO

 

RESIST SUCCESSFULLY AND THE VIET CONG COMPLETELY OVERRAN THE BASE.

 

AWARE THAT HIS BUNKER WAS THE ONLY REMAINING SOURCE OF RESISTANCE, LT.

 

FITZGERALD REQUESTED AN ARTILLERY BARRAGE TO BE LAID DOWN ON HIS OWN

 

POSITION AND ORDERED HIS MEN TO EVACUATE THE BASE TOWARD THE RIVER. HE

 

GALLANTLY REMAINED IN THE COMMAND BUNKER IN ORDER TO PROVIDE COVER

 

FIRE FOR THE EVACUATING PERSONNEL. BEFORE LT FITZGERALD COULD CARRY OUT

 

HIS OWN ESCAPE, HE WAS FATALLY SHOT BY THE VIET CONG AGGRESSORS. BY HIS

 

FEARLESS DEDICATION TO DUTY, COURAGE UNDER FIRE AND HEROIC ACTION IN

 

DEFENSE OF THE BASE, DESPITE OVERWHELMING ODDS, LT FITZGERALD SERVED AS

 

AN INSPIRATION TO ALL PERSONS ENGAGED IN THE COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY

 

EFFORT IN VIETNAM AND UPHELD THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES

 

NAVAL SERVICE.  GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THAT HE LAY DOWN HIS LIFE

 

FOR HIS FRIENDS.

 

 

 

THE USS FITZGERALD, DDG-62, NAMED IN BILL'S HONOR, WAS COMMISSIONED ON

 

OCTOBER 13,1995 AND CONTINUES ITS PROUD SERVICE TODAY. ITS MOTTO IS

 

"PROTECT YOUR PEOPLE" JUST AS BILL DID WHEN HE GAVE HIS LIFE. CAN YOU THINK

 

OF A MORE APPROPRIATE MOTTO?

 

 

 

DAVID ROBINSON WAS THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE PATROL BOAT USS CANON

 

ON AUGUST 11,1970. THE CITATION FOR HIS NAVY CROSS READS IN PART:  "DURING

 

THE HAIL OF ENEMY FIRE, LCDR ROBINSON SUSTAINED A BROKEN LEG AND

 

NUMEROUS SHRAPNAL WOUNDS WHEN A ROCKET EXPLODED ON THE PORT SIDE OF

 

THE FLYING BRIDGE. DESPITE HIS SERIOUS WOUNDS AND LOSS OF BLOOD, HE

 

CONTINUED TO DIRECT HIS SHIP'S FIRE UNTIL THE ENEMY ATTACK WAS

 

SUPPRESSED. REFUSING MEDICAL EVACUATION, LCDR ROBINSON SUBMITTED TO

 

FIRST AID TREATMENT AND THEN REQUESTED THAT HE BE STRAPPED IN A STRETCHER

 

AND PLACED IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION SO HE COULD CONTINUE TO DIRECT THE

 

ACTION OF HIS SHIP UNTIL IT  CLEARED THE ENEMY AMBUSH SITE. ONLY AFTER THE

 

SHIP WAS ANCHORED AT AN ADVANCED TACTICAL SUPPORT BASE AND HE WAS

 

ASSURED THAT HIS SHIP AND CREW WERE CAPABLE OF CONTINUING THEIR ASSIGNED

 

MISSION, DID HE ALLOW HIMSELF TO BE MEDICALLY EVACUATED."

 

 

 

THE THIRD NAVY CROSS WON BY A CLASSMATE WAS AWARDED TO WILLIS WILSON,

 

1ST LT USMC, FOR HIS  ACTIONS ON APRIL 2,1966. DURING AN INTENSE ENEMY ACTION,

 

THE PLATOON HE COMMANDED CAME UNDER HEAVY FIRE.  THREE TIMES HE WAS

 

WOUNDED AND TWICE HE MADE ATTEMPTS TO RESCUE MARINES WHO HAD BEEN

 

HIT.  DESPITE HIS OWN WOUNDS, HE CONTINUED TO MAINTAIN DIRECTION OF

 

HIS PLATOON.  INCREASING THE RATE OF FIRE FROM HIS BASE SQUAD, HE LAUNCHED

 

AN ATTACK WHICH FINALLY SILENCED THE VIET CONG FIRE.

 

 

 

FRANK WROBLEWSKI, THEN AN ARMY CAPTAIN, WAS A COMPANY COMMANDER ON

 

SEPTEMER 28, 1967 WHEN HIS COMPANY ASSAULTED A VIET CONG BIVOUAC AREA.

 

DURING A LONG BATTLE, HE PERSONALLY WENT OUT TO RESCUE TWO OF HIS

 

PLATOONS THAT HAD LOST RADIO COMMUNICATIONS. HE CALLED IN AN AIR STRIKE

 

TO WITHIN 50 METERS OF HIS POSITION. FOR FOUR HOURS HE MOVED ABOUT

 

ENCOURAGING HIS MEN UNTIL REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVED TO HELP ROUTE THE

 

ENEMY. HE WAS AWARDED THE ARMY DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS, THE

 

EQUIVALENT OF THE NAVY CROSS, THE HIGHEST DECORATION EITHER OF THE

 

SERVICES CAN AWARD.

 

 

 

IN ADDITION, 15 OF OUR CLASSMATES WERE AWARDED THE SILVER STAR, INCLUDING

 

STEVE TOTH FOR HIS ACTIONS ON LIBERTY, AND OUR TWO CLASSMATES WHO SPENT

 

LONG YEARS IN A PRISONER OF WAR CAMP, MIKE CRONIN AND DENVER KEY. MIKE

 

WAS FLYING OFF THE CORAL SEA AS A MEMBER OF ATTACK SQUADRON 23 WHEN

 

SHOT DOWN ON JANUARY 13, 1967. DENVER WAS SHOT DOWN LATER THE SAME YEAR

 

WHILE FLYING FROM INTREPID WITH ATTACK  SQUADRON 34. THEY WERE BOTH

 

RELEASED IN MARCH 1973 AFTER SPENDING SOME SIX YEARS AS POW'S.

 

 

 

FOLLOWING HIS RELEASE MIKE WROTE: "IN PRISON I WAS SUSTAINED BY THE BELIEF

 

THAT I WOULD EVENTUALLY RETURN HOME AND ALTHOUGH THE WAR MIGHT LAST A

 

VERY LONG TIME, THE UNITED STATES WOULD NEVER CEASE EFFORTS ON OUR

 

BEHALF, AND ALSO, BY A SIMPLE DESIRE TO  LIVE TO ENJOY FREEDOM AGAIN. OUR

 

EXPERIENCE IS AN ELOQUENT TESTIMONY TO THE FACT THAT AMERICANS DO NOT

 

FORGET THOSE WHO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY. I THINK IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO

 

APPRECIATE THE UNITED STATES UNTIL YOU HAVE LIVED WHERE FREEDOM IS ONLY

 

A THEORY."

 

 

 

AMONG DENVER'S WORDS IN A LETTER HOME WERE: " NO WORDS CAN EXPRESS HOW I

 

FEEL ABOUT YOU, ALECE, AND THE OTHER POW/MIA WIVES THAT "KEPT THE FAITH'

 

THROUGH THIS LONG ORDEAL. FRANCE HAS HER JOAN OF ARC AND AMERICA HAS

 

HER POW/MIA WIVES."

 

 

 

AND SO WE REMEMBER ALL OF OUR CLASSMATES WHO SERVED IN VIET NAM AND

 

THEIR WIVES AND FAMILIES WHO WAITED SO PATIENTLY AT HOME.  HONOR , 

 

COURAGE,  COMMITMENT.

 

 

 

IN ADDITION TO OUR FOURTEEN CLASSMATES KILLED IN ACTION, THIRTEEN OTHERS

 

LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE LINE OF DUTY, INCLUDING THREE,  JOHN BURKE, 23RD

 

COMPANY, CHARLES LAMBERTH, 21ST COMPANY; AND GEORGE FARRIN, 19TH COMPANY;                 

 

WHEN USS SCORPION WAS LOST AT SEA ON JUNE 5TH, 1968. THEY CONTINUE ON 

 

ETERNAL PATROL.  AND THERE WERE OTHERS WHO DIED NO LESS COURAGEOUSLY,

 

ALTHOUGH NOT DUE TO ENEMY ACTION, SUCH AS TERRY ABELL WHO INSPIRED US

 

ALL.

 

 

 

CLASS RECORDS SHOW THAT WE HAVE LOST A TOTAL OF 125 CLASSMATES WHO

 

GRADUATED WITH US, ONE WHO GRADUATED WITH THE CLASS OF 1964, AND 26 WHO

 

DID NOT GRADUATE FROM THE ACADEMY. AND SO WE REMEMBER THEM TODAY AS

 

WELL AS THE IMMORTAL WORDS INSCRIBED JUST A SHORT DISTANCE FROM HERE IN

 

MEMORIAL HALL,  "THEY SHALL GROW NOT OLD, AS WE THAT ARE LEFT GROW OLD;

 

AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM, NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN. AT THE GOING DOWN OF

 

THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM."

 

 

 

AND THERE ARE OTHERS WE HAVE LOST. NO RECORDS IDENTIFY THEM AS MEMBERS

 

OF THE CLASS OF 1963, YET OUR HEARTS TELL US THAT THEY ARE. I SPEAK OF OUR

 

WIVES WHO HAVE DEPARTED THIS EARTH, SOME OF WHOM WERE DRAGS HERE FOR A

 

YEAR OR FOUR, OTHERS WE MET YEARS AFTER ANNAPOLIS. THEY WERE SUCH

 

A MAJOR PART  OF OUR LIVES. WE HAVE ALSO LOST SOME OF OUR CHILDREN. HOW

 

DIFFICULT THESE LOSSES HAVE BEEN. TODAY, IN A MOST SPECIAL WAY, WE

 

REMEMBER THEM AS WELL.

 

 

 

AND WHAT OF US, GATHERED HERE IN THIS CHAPEL AND OUR CLASSMATES ALL OVER

 

THE WORLD WHO ARE HERE WITH US IN  SPIRIT. WE AND THEY HAVE CONTINUED TO

 

SERVE OUR GREAT NATION AS GOD HAS GIVEN US THE ABILITY TO DO SO. SOME HAVE

 

SPENT FULL CAREERS IN THE NAVY, MARINE CORPS, ARMY OR AIR FORCE ACHIEVING

 

POSITIONS OF HIGH RANK AND RESPONSIBILITY. OTHERS AFTER A PERIOD OF

 

MILITARY SERVICE HAVE SERVED WITH DISTINCTION IN SENIOR GOVERNMENT

 

POSITIONS AS PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEES OR  ELECTED STATE OFFICIALS. STILL

 

OTHERS HAVE LED COMPANIES OR BEEN CAPTAINS IN INDUSTRY.  LEGAL, MEDICAL.

 

ACADEMIC, NOT-FOR-PROFIT, RELIGIOUS AND OTHER FIELDS HAVE BENEFITTED FROM

 

OUR LIFES' WORK.

 

 

 

WHEREVER WE GO AND WHATEVER WE DO, WE REMAIN IN THE ARENA, SPENDING

 

OURSELVES IN A WORTHY CAUSE. AND WE CONTINUE TO BE INDELIBLY MARKED BY

 

OUR EXPERIENCE AT ANNAPOLIS WHERE WE BECAME FOREVER LINKED AS MEMBERS

 

OF THE CLASS OF 1963.

 

 

 

JUST WEEKS AFTER OUR GRADUATION, PRESIDENT KENNEDY VISITED THE NAVAL

 

ACADEMYAND IN HIS ADDRESS TO THE MIDSHIPMEN SAID, " ANY MAN WHO MAY BE

 

ASKED IN THIS CENTURY WHAT HE DID TO MAKE HIS LIFE WORTHWHILE I THINK CAN

 

RESPOND WITH A GREAT DEAL OF PRIDE AND SATISFACTION, I SERVED IN THE UNITED

 

STATES NAVY."  AND SO WE DID,  IN THE NAVY AND IN OTHER MILITARY SERVICES,

 

AND WE CONTINUE TO FEEL THE PRIDE IN WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED AND WHAT

 

OUR CLASSMATES HAVE ACCOMPLISHED, AND PARTICULARLY IN THE ULTIMATE

 

SACRIFICE THAT SOME CLASSMATES HAVE MADE.

 

 

 

AND WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN THEM, THEIR FAMILIES OR THIS PLACE WHICH HAS

 

INFLUENCED US AND CONTINUES TO INFLUENCE US BEYOND ALL EXPECTATION. OUR

 

CLASS FOUNDATION HAS NOW ASSISTED 95 CHILDREN OF 47 DECEASED CLASSMATES

 

WITH THEIR  COLLEGE EDUCATION. THE CLASS OF 1963 CENTER FOR ACADEMIC

 

EXCELLENCE IS NOW A CRITICAL PART OF THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM AT THE

 

ACADEMY. IN A RECENT YEAR, SOME 3000 MIDSHIPMEN VISITS WERE MADE TO THE

 

CENTER , ACCOUNTING FOR MORE THAN 10,000 CONTACT HOURS. ACADEMIC

 

ATTRITION IS DOWN AND  GRADES ARE UP. IN THE WORDS OF REAR ADMIRAL BILL

 

MILLER, THE ACADEMIC DEAN AND PROVOST, "THE CLASS OF 1963 HAS MADE A

 

HUGH DIFFERENCE IN THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS OF HUNDREDS OF MIDSHIPMEN,

 

AND THAT CONTRIBUTION WILL CONTINUE IN THE YEARS AHEAD."  OTHER

 

CONTRIBUTIONS TOO NUMEROUS TO MENTION FROM INDIVIDUAL CLASSMATES AS

 

WELL AS THE CLASS FOUNDATION , HAVE SERVED TO SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE

 

QUALITY OF LIFE  OF THOUSANDS OF MIDSHIPMEN. WE REMAIN IN THE ARENA

 

SPENDING OURSELVES IN A WORTHY CAUSE.

 

 

 

WHO COULD HAVE ENVISIONED IN JULY 1959 THAT THAT BAND OF BROTHERS

 

ASSEMBLED ON THESE HALLOWED GROUNDS FOR THE FIRST TIME WOULD SERVE SO

 

HONORABLY, LIVE SO COURAGEOUSLY, AND REMEMBER WITH SUCH COMMITMENT.

 

WE HAVE TRULY LIVED THE NAVY'S CORE VALUES OF HONOR,   COURAGE , AND

 

COMMITMENT.

 

 

 

MAY I NOW CLOSE WITH THE SEAMAN'S VERSION OF THE 23RD PSALM WHICH I FIRST

 

SAW HANGING ON A WALL IN AN OFFICE IN VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA DURING A

 

VISIT THERE. IT TELLS US SOMETHING OF WHERE OUR FALLEN CLASSMATES RESIDE

 

AND WHERE WE WILL ULTIMATELY HOLD OUR CLASS REUNIONS; 

 

 

THE LORD IS MY PILOT, I SHALL NOT DRIFT.

HE LIGHTETH ME ACROSS THE DARK WATERS;

HE STEERETH ME IN THE DEEP CHANNELS.

HE KEEPETH MY LOG;

HE GUIDETH ME BY THE STAR OF HOLINESS FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE.

YEA,THOUGH I SAIL MID THE THUNDERS AND TEMPESTS OF LIFE,

I SHALL DREAD NO DANGER; FOR THOU ART WITH ME.

THY LOVE AND THY CARE THEY SHELTER ME.

THOU PREPAREST A HARBOUR BEFORE ME IN THE HOMELAND OF ETERNITY; THOU

ANOINTEST THE WAVES WITH OIL; MY SHIP RIDETH CALMLY. SURELY SUNLIGHT AND

STARLIGHT SHALL FAVOR ME ON THE VOYAGE I TAKE;

AND I WILL REST IN THE PORT OF MY GOD FOREVER.

AMEN.