NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. –
Every year in May, Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) employees come together to observe Memorial Day with the annual Fall-In for Colors hosted by the Veterans’ Employee Readiness Group (VET-ERG). This year’s ceremony, held May 26, brought the workforce together in remembrance of the service members who sacrificed their lives in service to the United States Armed Forces.
“Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and reflection, as many perished in the prime of their lives, leaving behind so many loved ones to treasure their memories, and carry on their legacies. It is a day for us to remember the quote: ‘gone, but never forgotten,’” said Shipyard Executive Officer Capt. Todd Nichols. “Today we stand in solidarity as dedicated NNSY team members and proud Americans to honor our fallen brothers and sisters. No single sacrifice saves a country, just as no single person maintains our shipyard. It works as a unit, together, comprised of high performing teams, who choose to sacrifice daily in service to the fleet so the Navy can play its role in protecting this Nation. We are but ‘One Team’ that is serving one greater mission.”
The guest speaker for the event was Internal Shop Manager Stephen “Pete” Sellers, a retired Submarine Qualifications Electronics Technician Chief Petty Officer (ETC (SS)) who served in the United States Navy for more than 18 years. “Memorial Day is a day to remember those men and women who gave their lives for this country, this Nation,” said Sellers. “We remember the what, the when, the who. But for me, what is most important is the why. I celebrate this day the country, the Nation, for which these men and women gave their ‘last full measure of devotion’.”
The VET-ERG and Naval Civilian Managers Association (NCMA) held a wreath dedication during the ceremony as well as crafted a symbolic Battlefield Cross out of personal effects of shipyard veterans to represent their fallen brothers and sisters. In addition, there were musical performances from the U.S. Fleet Forces Ceremonial Band including “Taps” as well as a rendition of “Amazing Grace” by bagpiper Tom Metz, a retired Lt. Col. from the United States Army. The Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (NRMA) Honor Guard provided a 21-gun salute to honor the fallen.
“Each year, the Veterans’ ERG tries to do better, and boost the morale of NNSY employees, with each event. Last year during the pandemic, we pushed forward with a much scaled down event because of restrictions,” said VET-ERG President Nicholas Boyle. “This year, we have gone above and beyond previous years, raising the bar once again.”
“To our fallen brothers and sisters, we can never thank you enough for the sacrifices made by you and your families,” said Capt. Nichols. “Not a day goes by where we don’t honor what you have given to our Nation. You may be gone, but we will never forget. We will continue to honor your legacies as we march forward into tomorrow, standing upon the shoulders of your sacrifices.”