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USMMA Remembers and Honors El Faro Crew on Second Anniversary

KINGS POINT, N.Y., October 3, 2015 – Yesterday, the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) hosted a ceremony to remember and honor the officers and crew who were lost aboard the El Faro. Regimental Public Affairs Officer, First Class Midshipman Emily Gramer, recalled “On October 1st, 2015, as the El Faro was bound for Puerto Rico, she experienced a loss of propulsion, flooding in various compartments, and a 15-degree list. Hurricane Joaquin, a Category 3 hurricane at the time, passed right over the El Faro, eventually leading to her sinking. There were 33 people onboard who lost their lives; 28 American crew members and 5 Polish seamen.”

During the ceremony, Command Chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. Jerry Durham offered prayers of remembrance. Then, 33 Midshipman, read the names of the 33 crew members and gave one strike of the bell for each, including, Steve Shultz, Class of 1984, followed by eight bells to signify the end of El Faro’s watch.  Then, First Class Midshipman Rachael Grignon, sang “Amazing Grace.” 

After observing a moment of silence, the Regiment of Midshipmen stood at attention for a 21-Gun Salute by the USMMA Drill Team. The ceremony concluded with the USMMA Regimental Band playing Taps and Eternal Father. Finally, Midshipman Gramer reminded all present, " As we reflect upon the day, please keep in mind the families of those who were lost and be reminiscent of the sacrifices the 33 crew members who left home to work on the sea.  Each one of the crew members served willingly and bravely and we take today to remember their lives. Thank you for joining us as we honor and remember them. “

Updated: Tuesday, October 3, 2017
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