COMNAVSURFGRU MIDPAC Hosts Women's History Month 
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Commander Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH) and Naval Surface Group Mid-Pacific (COMNAVSURFGRU MIDPAC) hosted a Women's History Month celebration on March 16 at Lockwood Hall Lanai.

More than 125 people were in attendance for the celebratory event, coordinated by the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office, honoring the 30th anniversary of Women's History Month.

Lacy Lynn, EEO specialist and Federal Women's Program special emphasis manager, said it was important to honor the notable contributions women have made to our nation's history.

"This is the 30th anniversary of Women's History Month so it is important that we take time out of our schedules to recognize the contributions of women," she said. "We wanted to keep in step with that tradition and hopefully have a ceremony that honors all of our nation's women."

The event also included several musical compositions performed by members of the Pacific Fleet Band that comprised a "woodwind quintet." The most notable music selection performed was "America, the Beautiful," whose lyrics came from American poet and songwriter Katharine Lee Bates.

Capt. Patricia Cole, commanding officer at Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific (NCTAMS PAC), served as guest speaker for the ceremony.

"I recognize that I am in a position of significant responsibility and authority," she said. "Many years ago, I realized the importance of coming forward and being visible so I can hopefully inspire younger women to also want to achieve all they can and reach their full potential."

Cole offered remarks during the ceremony about this year's theme, "Writing Women Back into History."

"In a country with as rich a cultural history and achievement as ours, there are plenty of examples to stir the hearts and minds of young people, male and female alike," she said during her speech. "First, you have to be aware of those contributions. But until very recently, it has [only] been the history of men."

Cole reflected on the many historical female figures in the military and in American history, including Mary E. Walker, the only female Medal of Honor recipient, Rosa Parks and Queen Elizabeth I.

In fact, Cole noted the historical impact Queen Elizabeth had during her 45-year reign as the Queen of England by referencing a famous speech she gave in 1588 to inspire her troops to defeat the Spanish Armada.

"This was a woman who was expected to stay in the palace where it was safe, but she wanted to get out there and lead her troops," said Cole. "She wanted to fill them with inspiration for the daunting task they had before them."

Cole said that her main advice for woman of all ages is to seize the opportunities given to them, know matter how scary they seem at first.

"Many times as women, we tell ourselves 'I am not qualified' or 'I can't do that'," she said. "But believe the people who are telling you 'yes, you can do this.' Most of the things I've been able to accomplish, I never would have thought were possible if I didn't have a little push in the right direction."
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