NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Service members, family and friends gathered at Naval Station Rota's Vietnam War Memorial May 25 to honor the young men and women who paid the ultimate price in service to their country. During the ceremony, Rota's First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) and the Retired American Military Iberian Council (RAMIC) honored their fallen brothers and sisters by placing a large decorated wreath near the memorial's monument. "We are gathered here today to honor our family, our friends and most especially, service members who have passed before us," said Tom Brennan, Retired Activities Office director. "The service members we honor today came from all walks of life but they share a few fundamental qualities. They possessed courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity. All the qualities needed to serve a cause greater than oneself." During his moving speech, Brennan referenced the Naval Station Rota Memorial Wall. Reconstructed in 1997, it lists the names of more than 50 service members who died while assigned to the installation. Unfortunately, Brennan is familiar with some of those names. "Most of the names on that wall will be of no consequence to you," said Brennan. "For others, seeing those names will bring back a flood of memories. Seven of the names are those of my VQ-2 squadron mates. These young men lost their lives on a dark night in the middle of the Mediterranean when their A-3 Sky Warrior crashed off the deck of the USS Nimitz (CVN 68). I remember the good times we shared as well as the sorrow that accompanied their loss. Each name on that wall encapsulates the life of a young person who had aspirations, joy in their achievements, dissatisfaction in their failures and most of all, a desire to serve their nation. Sadly, those lives ended too soon." Also included in the holiday weekend celebration was a flag-raising ceremony. A flag detail composed of FCPOA members ceremoniously raised the U.S. flag May 29. The event was attended tby installation leadership, RAMIC members and other personnel. The event is significant because while raising the flag is a daily occurrence on most U.S. military installations around the world, Naval Station Rota is only permitted to fly the American flag with special permission from the base's Spanish admiral. Naval Station Rota enables and supports operations of U.S. and allied forces and provides quality services in support of the fleet, fighter, and family for CNIC in Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA). Just as a ship performs lines of operation, which provide a capability, Navy Region EURAFSWA bases perform the same eight lines of operation to provide capability to the fleet and joint and allied forces. These eight lines of operation are air operations, port operations, safety, security, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), Fleet and Family Services and what is called the core -- the fuels, water, and power that keep the bases running. Through the lines of operation, installations are force multipliers, which maximize the combat capability of operational units.
For more news from Naval Station Rota, Spain, visit www.navy.mil/local/rota/.
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