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NEWS | Nov. 29, 2023

Shipyard employees participate in special Veterans Day flag-replacement ceremony

By Ben Hutto, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility held a ceremony to celebrate and recognize Veterans Day, November 9 on the roof of Building 850.

The event, hosted by the Veterans Employee Resource Group, replaced the worn U.S. flag at the State Street entrance with a new one.

An honor guard composed of active duty Sailors and veterans marched out as part of the ceremony and replaced the four-by-six-foot American flag that normally flies over the State Street gate.

“We all know it takes a unique and exceptional person to be willing to make the sacrifice and push through the hardships of military service,” said Cap. JD Crinklaw, commander, PSNS & IMF. “But for those who do, you are never the same. Becoming a member of our armed forces changes your perspective, your character and your understanding of what you are capable of.”

In addition to Crinklaw addressing the crowd, Rick Baker, American Legion Post 149, spoke to those in attendance and used the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of service and what veterans mean to Bremerton, Kitsap County and the country as a whole.

On a lighter note, attendees who dressed in their best “veteran swag” were given Meals, Ready to Eat as prizes.

“I am so fortunate to lead a command where more than 25 percent of our civilian workforce is made up of veterans," Crinklaw said. "I get to come to work every day and see those values on display; not just in our veteran workforce, but in the people they work beside and the teams they supervise who absorb those values from them.”

Since Congress established the holiday in the late 1960s, Veterans Day was meant to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. The holiday was originally called Armistice Day and was celebrated on November 11 in recognition of the end of World War I and the men that fought and served in conflict. As time passed, veterans groups pressured Congress to expand the observance to include all veterans.