U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY - Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) will participate in a memorial track and field competition, or “field day,” to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that occurred on Dec. 14, 2012. The field day is scheduled to take place Feb. 16.
Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Kimberly Henry coordinated the field day with the Second Class Association’s support. Henry intends to send a package to the school that will include a memorial flag flown on board Peleliu, a short video and photos of the field day.
The field day will run from noon through 5 p.m., and will incorporate 26 different exercises, one for each of the victims. Participants will spend 60 seconds at each exercise station, but there is no time limit for the event as a whole. There will be no prizes as it is not a competition, but Henry urges Sailors and Marines to take part. A sign-up sheet will be available at the MWR office.
“It’s more than just a workout, and I hope people keep that in mind,” said Henry. “This is going to be very challenging. I want people to push themselves because their strength [will] hopefully pass and carry on with the American flag over to the [victim’s] families.”
The flag, flown Jan. 14, will have a letter of authenticity signed by Peleliu’s Commanding Officer Capt. John D. Deehr and be presented to the school.
“The Sailors of Peleliu came up with a wonderful idea to show support for the families of the victims of the Newtown shooting,” said Deehr. “We hope this package and our memorial field day express the sympathy that we feel, and we want the families to know that our hearts are with them during this tremendously difficult time.”
Henry added, “This flag is going to travel across the world with our thoughts and prayers to let the families know [that] regardless of what our mission is or why we’re out here, we’re still keeping in mind our families back home.”
Peleliu is the flagship for the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.