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NEWS | Nov. 9, 2022

NSWC Philadelphia Division Honors Veterans and Marines

By Joseph Fontanazza

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division conducted its annual Veterans Day and U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Observance as a hybrid event with an in-person gathering at NSWCPD and a live stream for online viewers on Nov. 9, 2022.

Representing NSWCPD’s Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG), Lucas Huerta served as the master of ceremonies and first introduced Pete Eobbi to perform the national anthem.

After Eobbi’s powerful rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, Huerta provided a short history of how Armistice Day would become Veterans Day.

“Originally known as Armistice Day, it [Veterans Day] was first celebrated in 1919, exactly one year at the end of hostilities in World War I in what was then known as the ‘War to End All Wars,’ Huerta said. “In 1954 after World War II and the Korean War, Congress at the urging of the veteran service organizations amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word armistice and inserting in its place the word ‘veterans’ formalizing that the holiday now recognized all veterans and not just people who served in World War 1.”

Keynote speaker Cmdr. Shawn William spoke about the legacy that the United States veterans left behind and how all should make sure to uphold and honor that legacy.

“No matter how significant the cost, we are able to stand here today because of their selflessness. How do we repay them, you may ask? We can’t, but we can honor their sacrifices by continuing their legacy,” William said.

He added, “We can keep the memory of those who passed, alive in our thoughts and words. We can aid those who have come home from deployment in transitioning back to normal life. We can continue to drive innovation in our technology to make military personnel safer. And if we are called upon to serve, we can act with the same bravery that our role models have shown us.”

William ended his speech by challenging the audience to continue the armed forces’ great tradition saying, “Now go celebrate the legacy past military members have established and continue working to forge our own legacy.”

Following William’s keynote address, NSWCPD VERG Champion Gary Saladino recited the poem “My Name is Old Glory” by Howard Schnauber before NSWCPD’s Kristianna Desmarais read the traditional Marine Corps Birthday Orders.

Saladino and William then performed a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the fallen veterans while the National Song of Remembrance, also known as “Taps” played.

To conclude the Veterans Day and Marine Corps Birthday Observance, Huerta called upon the attendees to reach out to a veteran in their family or community and to also support the Marines Toys for Tots program as NSWCPD is providing drop off boxes in its various buildings through December 9.

Huerta was later asked how it felt to be a part of the event and he proudly said, “It was an honor to take part in the ceremony today. Our Command does a great job providing resources and support for veterans. I am so proud to be part of the NSWCPD team.”

NSWCPD employs approximately 2,800 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. The NSWCPD team does the research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for the non-nuclear machinery, ship machinery systems, and related equipment and material for Navy surface ships and submarines. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.