Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony & 24-Hour Walk

On Thursday, May 26th, USO Rota and Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota held a Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony in honor of our fallen heroes. Commands from all around the community gathered to pay tribute to service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The ceremony took place at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, built by Navy Munitions Command Battalion 11 in 2016. The ceremony began with the Parading of the Colors by David Glasgow Farragut’s Naval Junior Recruit Officers Training Command, while Petty Officer First Class Jenino Jao sang our National Anthem. Command Master Chief Kim Ferguson was the Master of Ceremonies; Chaplain Alan Cameron presented the invocation/benediction; Captain David Baird gave remarks, and guest speakers were Captain (retired) Octavio Manduely and Chief Petty Officer (retired) Candice Star Leffingwell. “Taps” was performed on bagpipes by Oscar Liste Allegue, while the Chief Petty Officer Mess donated a beautiful wreath for the memorial. Rota Jewish Community Bet Januká shared the tradition and history of laying stones on the graves of loved ones and provided stones for those in attendance in an act of remembrance.

Following the ceremony, CAPT Baird and CMDCM Ferguson escorted the U.S. flag and POW/MIA flag to the base track to commence the 24-Hour remembrance walk. The procession included piper, Oscar Liste Allegue playing “Amazing Grace”, and many of whom attended the ceremony. The remembrance walk was scheduled so that our NAVSTA Rota community could pay their respects by signing up for 30-minute time slots over a 24-hour period. Over 100 members of the community participated all through the night to pay their respects to those who have given us our freedom, and the Rota Girl Scouts decorated bags of tea lights to illuminate the track. Some walked for 30 minutes, some hours, and NMCB 133 CMC Bellefeuille walked an astounding 67 miles for 22 hours straight. Whether 30 minutes or 22 hours, all were walks were completed with the upmost respect in memory of all lost. Whether you walked alone, as a command, or with a friend, USO Rota is thankful for all who joined and helped connect our service members to family, home, and country.

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