Virginians Trek to Visit Virginia
GROTON, Conn. – Members of the USS Virginia (SSN 774) chapter of Submarine Veterans, Inc., visited their namesake submarine July 23 for a special presentation.
Retired Lt. Kenn McDermott, base commander for the Richmond, Va., group, presented Cmdr. Tim Salter, USS Virginia Commanding Officer, with the 774th “Never Forget” tribute flag made by the America Never Forget Foundation.
Cindy Sheaffer, the president and founder, was present to explain the significance of the flag.
“I wanted the flag to serve as a reminder that freedom comes with a price and hoped it would keep alive the patriotism we all felt in our hearts” she said. “There are only 3000 flags, one for each of the victims, it is only fitting that number 774 be aboard Virginia.”
“This flag will be placed in a place of honor aboard our ship, said Salter. “As we begin our transition into our upcoming shipyard period this will be a constant reminder of why we do what we do.”
As a tribute flag, the field of stars is replaced by a copyrighted design that is a collage of United Flight 93 and the World Trade Towers surrounded by the Pentagon. The four stars represent the planes used in the attack and each plane is named in the design.
According to Sheaffer, Number 184 in the series hangs in the Pentagon in memory of the 184 victims there, following a presentation to Assistant Secretary of Defense John Grimes in January 2010. Number 93 was presented to the Flight 93 Federal Advisory Commission in 2006 and will be displayed at their memorial upon completion.
Virginia-class submarines are tailored to excel in a wide range of warfighting missions. These include anti-submarine and surface ship warfare; special operation forces; strike; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; carrier and expeditionary strike group support; and mine warfare.