Seabees Show the Flag For Local Schoolchildren

By MCC Lowell Whitman, NCG 1 Public Affairs

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SW2 Troy Franklin, NCG 1, from Cathedral City, Calif., unfurls the national ensign during a Patriot Day ceremony for students of the University Preparation School, Camarillo, Calif., Sept. 11. Seabees from NCG 1, Ventura County first responders and other service members participated in the observance commemorating the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Photos by MCC Lowell Whitman

Seabees from Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1 joined Ventura County first responders and fellow service members to recognize Patriot Day with students from the University Preparation School, Camarillo, Calif., Sept. 11.

Patriot Day, also known as the National Day of Service and Remembrance, is observed annually on Sept. 11 as a day to remember those lost in the terrorist attacks of 2001. The ceremony marked the school’s 13th observance.

Airmen from the Air National Guard Band at Point Mugu performed as students gathered around the school’s flagpole. Service members and first responders, past and present, were invited in front of the audience. Charmon Evans, school director, welcomed them to applause from students, parents and faculty.

The NCG 1 color guard marched the colors to the flag pole and color guard member, Steelworker 2nd Class Troy Franklin, Cathedral City, Calif., ceremoniously unfurled the national ensign as attendees observed a moment of silence. As the flag was raised, Builder 2nd Class Marie Tauai, Apia, Samoa, sang a duet of the national anthem with her brother Moses Failautusi. The poem, “My Name Is Old Glory” was read as the flag was set at half-mast.

The event’s guest speaker, Lt. Col. Constance Poulsen, assigned to the Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing, took to the podium to deliver her remarks.

“The attacks of 9/11 showed us the worst in people. But it was also a time when many wonderful, compassionate and heroic deeds happened,” said Poulsen. “We do not forget the innocent people who lost their lives that day. Each person was a friend, a family member, a coworker. Every person is missed.”

Poulsen spoke about her experiences working as a navigator on C-130 aircraft supporting Operation Noble Eagle, the initial support response that began three days after the 9/11 attacks. In conclusion, she offered a challenge to the students.

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SW1 Brenton Heisserer (right) and BUC Juan Zetino, both assigned to NCG 1, salute during a Patriot Day ceremony for students of the University Preparation School, Camarillo, Calif., Sept. 11. Seabees from NCG 1, Ventura County first responders and other service members participated in the observance commemorating the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

“The American military, police officers, firefighters, teachers and parents have your back. Now it’s your turn,” said Poulsen. “Stand up when you see someone in trouble, being bullied or being left out. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words. Make today the day you become a hero in someone’s life.”

Roberta Bramson, a member of the organizing committee, spoke about the importance of having the Seabees and other service members in attendance.

“I think it’s outstanding that they would give their time for this,” said Bramson. “I hope that [service members] will be able to explain to the children and give them the vision of who they are not just in war and times of need, but in everyday life.”


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