united states coast guard

R 221543 MAY 20
ALCOAST 192/20
1. Since the years following the Civil War, Americans have set aside a day
each spring to honor the men and women of our Armed Forces who have made the
ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. On Monday, 25 May, we
will pause to remember those who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom,
liberty, and justice for all. We also remember the families—the parents,
siblings, and children of the fallen who were left behind. We salute their
strength and courage and hold them in our hearts.
2. This 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, we still remember
servicemembers like LT Thomas James E. Crotty, the Coast Guard’s last POW
from World War II. LT Crotty perished in a Japanese prison camp in
Cabanatuan City in the Philippines in 1942. This past November we finally
brought him home to New York for burial with full military honors.
We remember Fireman Second Class Gerald Clement Breen and his 192 Coast Guard,
56 Army, and one U.S. Public Health Service shipmates who lost their lives
when the USS SERPENS exploded off Guadalcanal on 29 January 1945, the single
largest loss of life in our Service’s history. We remember Petty Officer
Nathan Bruckenthal, who died in the line of duty alongside two U.S. Navy
sailors while conducting maritime smuggling intercept operations in the
northern Arabian Gulf on 24 April 2004. And, Senior Chief Petty Officer
Terrell Horne III, who was killed while interdicting drug smugglers off the
California coast in the dark early morning hours of 2 December 2012.
We remember these Coast Guardsmen and their fallen brothers and sisters in
arms from all branches of service, and remain incredibly thankful today to
be living in the free country they preserved for us and for future generations.
3. This Memorial Day we may need to adapt our traditions as we honor the
manners of our profession amidst a global pandemic. For example, here in our
Nation’s capital, Arlington National Cemetery remains closed to the public.
Though we may not be able to place a flag at the graves of our fallen, we
can pause together at 1500 local time wherever we are to observe the
National Moment of Remembrance and ponder, as a grateful nation, the ultimate
sacrifice so many have made to defend this land.
4. May we never forget these extraordinary and selfless Americans who
fought for freedom, safeguarded our Nation and our values, and preserved
our way of life. While they gave their lives in our defense, may we honor
their sacrifice and always remain dedicated to the principles which made,
and keep, our country free. Semper Paratus.
5. Admiral Karl L. Schultz, Commandant, sends.
6. Internet release is authorized.