Monday, September 15, 2014

USNA Midshipmen Participate in the National Day of Service

Post by MC2 Jonathan Correa

The U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Action Group paid tribute to those lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks during a ceremony at the Maryland World War II Memorial in Annapolis, Maryland, Sept. 13.

 More than 100 midshipmen took part in the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, a day that was established as a way to remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors and those who rose up in response to the attacks through community service.

In 2009, Congress designated it under law.

After the ceremony, the midshipmen spent the day helping to clean up the memorial and Jonas Green State Park along the Severn River.

"Serving those who served and growing our own model of service is the life we have chosen as midshipmen," said Midshipman 2nd Class Zachary Dannelly, the coordinator for the event.

Retired Army Col. Ken McCreedy was the keynote speaker at the ceremony, calling on the midshipmen to recommit to the call to service. After his speech and a moment of silence, midshipmen picked up trash, planted flowers and trees, cleaned up weeds, trimmed hedges and moved rocks back alongside the ditches.

"This is more than just serving the environment," said Dannelly. "It is serving all the veterans, who have come from Maryland, by cleaning up the War World II Memorial."

The memorial pays tribute to the more than 287,000 sons and daughters of Maryland who answered the call of duty, nearly 6,500 of whom gave their lives.

For many midshipmen, it was inspiring to see others taking part in this event.

"I think this event was a great time for us. I know it was for me," said Midshipmen 1st Class Megan Lewis. "To see how many dedicated their time to serve shows how much they care and how much this day means to them."

"For me the reason I came to the USNA and the reason I chose to serve is that I wanted to give back," said Dannelly. "I know being born in the U.S. is the biggest blessing you can ever have, and I really think that having the opportunity to serve like this, to serve at the World War II Memorial and for the 9/11 Day of Service, really brings it back to why we were able to wake up this morning in a free country."

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