SAN DIEGO – Guided missile-destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) held a memorial ceremony on Sept. 11 aboard the ship at Naval Base San Diego.
Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Jaye Bell led the silent demonstration for the ceremony commencing promptly at 6:02 a.m., coinciding with the time that the second plane struck the Twin Towers in the terrorist attacks on New York City Sept. 11, 2001.
Twelve Sailors, dressed in full firefighting equipment and desert camouflage uniforms, represented the heroes of 9/11. Ten members of the crew accepted American flags in honor of their loved ones lost during the terrorist attacks and subsequent armed conflicts. These Ensigns were flown from William P. Lawrence’s yardarms on Sept. 10.
During the ceremony, command leadership rendered salutes to each of those members bearing the Ensign in recognition of the fallen. Following the honors, Gunner’s Mate Second Class Jaime Gordonmartin and Personnel Specialist First Class Nathaniel Hammond raised the colors to half-mast. The ship’s search lights were directed to the sky to symbolize the Twin Towers.
“It meant a lot to participate in the ceremony today,” said Hammond. “On watch last night, I realized that someone else was standing watch just like me when the attacks happened. This is the tragedy of our generation. I will never forget, and it has been the largest influence on my desire to serve my country.”
Commissioned June 4, 2011, William P. Lawrence is named after Vice Adm. William P. Lawrence, a naval aviator, former Vietnam prisoner of war and former commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet. The ship is assigned to the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group and is home ported in San Diego.