Author Topic: Ling receives pieces of the USS Arizona  (Read 10355 times)

Offline Lance Dean

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Ling receives pieces of the USS Arizona
« on: August 15, 2008, 08:18:58 AM »
From the Messdeck BBS:

Attached is a copy of USS LING FAMILY and FRIENDS

It is with great pleasure and yet the deepest respect to advise you that the U.S. Navy has recognized the request of the USS LING and the New Jersey Naval Museum, to become holders for memorial display two (yup 2!) large pieces of the USS ARIZONA BB-39, sunk December 7, 1971 at Pearl Harbor. Allow me a few words about my feelings and America's greatness.

I returned to my office late yesterday, and there was a large package from the Commander, U.S. Navy Region Hawaii. I opened it with the greatest of care and with shaking hands. It was then I unwrapped two large and long, but obviously damaged pieces of steel. Now well rusted and oxidized but with rivet holes clearly visible. While they resembled any rusted and twisted pieces of metal that one would find as trash, they carry in them and with them something that was not there at their casting but was burnished and burned into them by the witness to war.

Picking them up and holding an old twisted and rusted piece of metal was a mental flash back to Pearl Harbor: the movies of the attack and action, the devastation and destruction, the smoke and sinkings, the fright and fire, the action and angst, and a somber thought of our fellow sailors who still lie entombed in same metal I was holding in my shaking hands. All I could say was "amazing!"

I then thought of the stark white of the marble and memorial standing guard over the USS ARIZONA, the blue water kissing up to God the occasional bubble of fuel oil which bursts to the surface from below, then dissolving in a rainbow sheen upon those sacred waters. It is the constant reminder from the men eternally entombed below, "never falter never fail".

As a memorial representing both our losses that day and yet heralding the victory that America would commit to fight to struggle to achieve, it is part of a longer line of solace and sacrifice: it is Valley Forge, it is the fields of Gettysburg, it is the hard ground of the Somme, it is the cliffs of D-Day, it is the island battles of the Pacific, is the victory at Inchon, it is Khe San, Panama, Dessert Storm, and more. It heralds the historic and at times horrific suffering we have endured for our preservation and carrying the flame of freedom to others. And yes, it is now part of the USS LING.

Snapping back to the present, I thought of the USS LING, the boat we, in the past, today, and for the future, have all so long and longingly cared for, a guest of the Borg Family and floating starkly alone in the Hackensack River. And I was reminded of the irony that our LING sits there afloat, old but proud, as she looks over Borg Park to two other ships sitting high and dry: the Japanese Kaiten submarine and the German E-Boat submarine. But for America's actions and achievements, the commitment and  costs, and the sacrifice and the service of our many veterans, those boats are the war prizes and not the USS LING. "Never falter, Never fail."

And these memorials and memories, significant or small, are simultaneously stark, somber, starred and stirring. But these monument all stand stoically and silently to remind us there was a call, there was someone to answer the call, and we are here because the efforts of others allows our own success today.

While many disagree what the call has been for our today and what the call we may answer in the future, we must all never fail to honor the memories of those who answered their country's call, to thank and acre for our veterans, to pray and protect our soldiers, sailors, and airman. "Never falter, never fail."

The words of WW II Veteran and Senator Bob Dole at the ground breaking of the Washington D.C. WWII Memorial are prophetic "to be young is to sit under the shade of trees you did not plant; to be mature is to plant trees under the shade of which you will not sit.'' As a veteran naval officer and father of two serving Army officers, I realize it is time for me, for all of us to get out of the shade and into the sun, to start planting those trees...memorials, veterans assistance, taking care of families of deployed soldiers, new laws, a word, a card, a package, or just a thank you to our veterans, and soldiers, sailors, and airman.
For the administrative part of this letter, attached are copies of the Navy letters to me, with the certificate of transfer and authenticity, and a schematic showing us where the pieces were removed from, which is the main deck house amidships between the two towers.

The original request I submitted and the condition of transfer is for display in both the museum and the wardroom of the USS LING. I have already talked to Tom Coulson and Tom Conlon yesterday to advise them of the receipt and approval for display. Tom Coulson and I have discussed the idea of an unveiling and dedication in appropriate display cases for the November Veteran's Day service. Tom and I are meeting this Saturday morning about 0900 for the turn over, and you are welcome to join with us.


John M. Carbone

Offline AVGWarhawk

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Re: Ling receives pieces of the USS Arizona
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2008, 08:51:16 AM »
Wow, what a nice piece of history and memorial to have on display for the Ling.  I'm a firm believer in not letting people forget who came before them and gave so much so we can have what we have today. Heart felt letter also!
CHRIS GOSSWEILER/USS Torsk Volunteer/You will find me in the engine rooms.

Offline JTheotonio

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Re: Ling receives pieces of the USS Arizona
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2008, 09:23:36 AM »
Another reason to visit the Ling. Great!
From the Forward Torpedo Room