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Vietnam Memorial Ceremonies

Friday, September 31, 2004 ceremonies and laying of the wreath at the Vietnam Memorial (The Wall) was our first order of business. Emotions were high as we all stared at those 58,000 names and heard the names of our shipmates being read who passed away since seeing them last. These were our shipmates aboard the U.S.S. New Jersey. Dick Esser and Larry Kalakauskis asked earlier this year if I would play Taps. I was honored and said I would. Of the thousands of times I played Taps over the past 45 years, this was the most difficult.

Larry Kalakauskis, B-Div. gave the Opening Remarks "It Was Right."

All photos by Linda Trottier, my dear wife. If anyone present want copies via email, just let me know.

A fine Invocation was given by
Edward J. Loomis, 1st. Div.

"Remembrance" of Past Shipmates Departed was presented by
Edward Campbell, OE-Div.

Presentation Of Memorial Wreath was by J. Edward Snyder, U.S.S. New Jersey "Commanding" assisted by
Frank La Rosa, S-Div, 2nd Div.

"Honor Salute" Vietnam Era Veterans U.S.S. New Jersey Ship's Company present was given.

"Taps" was sounded by
Bertrand R. Trottier, N-Div. U.S.S. New Jersey BB-62, Ship's Bugler.

"Closing Remarks" by
Michael Prime of S3_Div.

I thought it was appropriate that there were 21 crew men present plus our "Captain". This was in lieu of a "21 Gun Salute" for our comrades who are no longer with us. Our hand salute from our hearts sufficed well. I just don't have words for this. I was truly overwhelmed and so honored to be amongst my fellow crew members, even in memory.

The wreath was well prepared with our ship's patch and a very touching poem.

I thank Larry Kalakauskis and Frank La Rosa for their hard work in preparing this event for us, our friends and our families.

I like this photo very much. I feel remise that I did not go about and meet each member present. The whole week was a dizzying experience for Linda and me. Admiral Snyder congratulated me on a "job well done" after the ceremonies.

We were not the only ones taking pictures but tourist who had come by to see "The Wall". I was heartened to see they found our ceremony just as important. Everyone was very respectful and considerate. Emotions were hard to maintain at times even when posing for pictures. I never ever though I'd be doing this here. It was tough for all of us.

Please Note: All photos on this page are by Linda Trottier, my wife. I'll be happy to email a copy freely to anyone present who wants them. They measure 13"x17", 72 dpi, in JPG format. I can format them to any physical size (ex: 5x7), crop, change dpi (ex: 300dpi) or change to the type of file you want (TIFF, PNG, BMP, etc). Just let me know, email me here: Bert Trottier

Also, if you can help me identify any of the men (with their rate and division) in the large group photo above I would apprciate it. Just email to me. Seeming this site is a public record it would be very nice to add their names under the photo. Thanks!

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