Sunday, April 7, 2013

Remember the Thresher

One of those sad memorials happened the other day--a remembrance for the 129 crew members of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) which sank during diving trials east of Cape Cod. It was 50 years ago on April 10, 1963, that the USS Thresher sank, taking the lives of all aboard. The crew is now on eternal patrol. I urge you to check out the links to learn more about the tragedy.

It was the Cold War. We knew the Soviets (note: not Russians) were hanging out just off the coast ready to obliterate the United States. Times were tense.

The Cuban Missile Crisis had been resolved only about six months earlier.

I would like to write about how times have changed and peace has blossomed everywhere, but I know that it is not true. During the 60's we had one great enemy. We knew who they were, where they lives, and how they fought. Today, the world has devolved into chaos where the enemy of peace-loving people is right around the next corner or behind the tree ahead.

In these times of sequestration, reducing budgets, increased threat it is important to remember these heroes from 50 years ago who gave their lives to secure peace for the democratic way of life.

From the memorial service:

Vice Adm. Michael J. Connor, the commander of the submarine force, said the Thresher was built with revolutionary capabilities to prevent the Soviet submarines that were operating off the coast of the United States from “doing their deadly mission.” 
“The Thresher helped change the world because she, and ships like her, and the descendents of her, made the Soviet Union realize they could never prevail,” he said. 
For the Thresher families, Connor said, “I know that is probably a small consolation.” But, he said, the sacrifice made by the crew and the civilian technicians on board “will be carried forward by the entire submarine force as we do the nation’s business and the Navy’s business around the world, under the sea.”
The doing the nation's business never stops for the men and women of the armed forces and the Department of Defense. No matter where, no matter when!

 -- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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