Makin Island Choir, Color Guard Honor WWII Veterans 

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Makin Island's (LHD 8) choir and color guard paid tribute to the former crew of USS Salt Lake City (CA 25) during a reunion ceremony on board USS Midway Museum June 22.

Makin Island's choir sang four songs in honor of the World War II veterans, including the national anthem, the Navy hymn and "Anchors Aweigh."

Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Travis Grantham provided Salt Lake City's former crew members and their families with a piping demonstration of reveille, "dinner for the crew" and "Taps."

Grantham said he enjoyed demonstrating his piping skills and wanted to give the veterans a taste of Makin Island's daily life at sea.

He also said participating in the reunion ceremony gave him a greater appreciation for the sacrifices Sailors made during World War II.

Al Jowdy, a gunner's mate who served aboard Salt Lake City from 1942 to 1946, described the event as a "dream come true." Jowdy said it was nice to see so many Sailors showing their support 65 years after the war.

"All this attention brings tears to your eyes, and that's not easy for me," Jowdy said.

Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SW/AW) Justine Pennel, a member of Makin Island's choir, volunteered for the event to show her appreciation for the service of previous generations.

"It's nice to give something back to them and say, 'Thank you," she said. "It's a nice way to say, 'Thank you for your service; We understand what you've gone through, and we appreciate it.'"

Sailors assigned to Makin Island also share a tie to those who served in the Navy during Salt Lake City's era. Makin Island's namesake is CVE 93, the 39th Casablanca-Class escort aircraft carrier that served from 1944-1946.

For more news from USS Makin Island (LHD 8), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd8/.

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