Had a unique opportunity to surprise the crew the other day. Made a little jog in navigation and was able to pass directly over the final resting place of USS LEXINGTON, CV-2. We passed over at almost exactly the time of day that she was hit by the first torpedo in May 19 42 and the weather was exactly the same. That part was a coincidence, but making the conscious decision a couple days ago to CPA her resting place was not.
I personally read, over the 1MC, from CAPT Sherman’s after action report. Chaps then said a prayer (attached), we played echo Taps and two sailors laid flowers from the fantail.
Didn’t tell almost anyone what we were doing ahead of time. During weekly training GQ last night the XO and CHE read aloud from the Chief Engineer’s after action report lessons learned. You cannot believe how appreciative the crew has been for all of this. It actually made me feel pretty good.
26 JULY 2007
TRANSITING THE AREA OF THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
LET US PRAY. ALMIGHTY AND ETERNAL GOD, THE MYSTIC BEAUTY OF THE SEA SEEMS TO RISE IN BENEDICTION TO YOU. AS WE PASS OVER THESE HALLOWED WATERS WHERE 65 YEARS AGO, THE USS LEXINGTON WAS LOST IN THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA, IT IS ONLY RIGHT THAT WE STOP AND PAUSE FOR A MOMENT TO REMEMBER THE MOMENTOUS SACRIFICE OF OUR ELDER SHIPMATES. FROM THEM, WE LEARN THE HIGHEST IDEALS OF THE WARRIOR SPIRIT: SELF-SACRIFICE, MISSION ACCOMPLISHMENT, TENACITY.
IN THE DOGGED FIVE-DAY BATTLE THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF WORLD WAR II, SAILORS FROM ACROSS AMERICA AND FROM EVERY WALK OF LIFE, BANDED TOGETHER WITH A COMMON FOCUS OF DEFEATING A FORMIDABLE ENEMY.
LORD GOD, WE REMEMBER THOSE WHO FOUGHT AND PERISHED HERE. WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THEIR LIVES EVEN AS WE ARE WE ARE INSPIRED BY THEIR MONUMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT. WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THAT WE HAVE TO SERVE IN OUR NATION S DEFENSE AND TO CARRY ON THESE HIGH IDEALS. WE ASK THAT YOU WILL WALK WITH US TO REMIND US THAT THE TRADITION WE INHERIT DOES NOT BELONG TO US INDIVIDUALLY, BUT IS A SACRED TRUST GIVEN TO US BY THOSE UPON WHOSE SHOULDERS WE STAND.
AS TAPS IS PLAYED FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED WHO IN THIS PLACE FOUGHT AND DIED SO MANY YEARS AGO, WE OFFER YOU OUR MOST HUMBLE PRAYER. MAY THEIR SOULS, AND THE SOULS OF ALL WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES FOR FREEDOM’S CAUSE, THROUGH THE MERCY OF GOD, REST IN PEACE. AMEN.