Memorial Service, 2014
Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean J. Stackley
Aboard U.S.S. Massachusetts, Fall River, Mass., on 11 September 2014
FALL RIVER, Massachusetts — Abbot’s service in World War II and the Cold War was recalled by Sean J. Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, during the traditional reunion memorial service, which coincided with the 9/11 Anniversary. More than 100 Abbot veterans and family members were in attendance.
Secretary Stackley led the attendees in a moving memorial bell-ringing ceremony in memory of deceased Abbot veterans. After each name was read, a ship’s bell was rung once. Those remembered by name were Rear Admiral Raynor A.K. Taylor; Captain Robert Norman; Lieutenant Kenneth Rider; Edwin Vaughn; Walter Baranger; William Hersey; Thaddeus Sarama; Edward Wilson; and Robert Delong of the Coast Guard.
He also presented letters of thanks from Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, to the three World War II veterans who were present — Howard Nickerson, Harry Benoit and John Alford.
Mentioning Abbot missions as diverse as the first manned Project Mercury launch and the Cuban Missile Crisis blockade, Secretary Stackley also recalled his own extensive personal Navy ties as both an officer and a naval architect.
A memorial wreath and red roses were dropped into Narragansett Bay immediately following Secretary Stackley’s speech. Ted Karras, who organized the 2014 reunion, introduced Mr. Stackey and his staff officers, Capt. Dan Brintzinghoffer and Cmdr. Thurraya S. Kent.