USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN, At Sea (NNS) – Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) held a burial at sea for 15 veterans, Jan. 17.
Veterans from the United States Navy were committed to the Pacific Ocean during the ceremony on the ship’s fantail.
“Burials at sea originated from ancient times when the dead bodies of Sailors needed to be removed from ships,” said Lt. Aman J. Grant, Lake Champlain chaplain, who provided the chaplain services for the ceremony. “After World War II there has been a desire for remains to be committed to the sea.”
Sailors volunteered to be a part of the burial at sea detail as flag and urn bearers, rifle detail and members of the honor platoon.
“This was the first opportunity I had to participate in a burial at sea ceremony,” said Yeoman 1st Class Jared Gross, a flag bearer for the ceremony. “It was an honor and very humbling to act as a flag bearer, where I lead urn bearers to the executive officer for the cremains to be committed to the sea then I presented an American flag that was flown over USS Lake Champlain to the officer who accepted it on the family’s behalf.”
Sailors observed as each urn was placed under the American flag in a chute and then committed to the depths of the Pacific Ocean. After all 15 veterans were laid to rest, Sailors honored them with a 21-gun salute and rendering honors while taps was played.
“I felt an extreme sense of pride and awe participating in the burial at sea,” said Grant. “The Navy family atmosphere the ceremony evoked. All of the crew in our dress blues, the sun shining, no land in sight, and we are connected to our rich history with this potent tradition. This is about honor, as we fulfill their last requests, and it reminds ourselves of whom we are, what we stand for.”
Lake Champlain is on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet into the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news on USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor/cg57 or www.facebook.com/UssLake Champlain/