ABOARD USS RONALD REAGAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) were honorary guests Nov. 11 in a ceremony where they witnessed the addition of their namesake, the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, to the the Mount Soledad Memorial, La Jolla, Calif.
The granite walls that wrap around Mount Soledad Memorial honors veterans from the past and present, and represent all wars and conflicts.
Twenty-two Sailors from various departments represented the ship at the ceremony
“Wow! The ceremony was breathtaking,” said Master-at-Arms 3rd Class (SW) Melissa Velez, security department. “Despite how cold it was, the emotional feeling we got from all the speakers was awesome. It was an amazing feeling.”
“It was a pleasure to be there,” said Disbursing Clerk Seaman Michelle Toledo, supply department. “It made me feel proud, because so many people appreciated us being there.”
Reagan was commander in chief from 1981 to 1989, and he also served in the Army Reserve in 1937. He was called to active duty in 1942 after receiving a commission to second lieutenant.
Peter Hannaford, personal friend and advisor to Reagan, was one of the guest speakers at the ceremony. Before presenting the plaque, he spoke about the brave men and women who have served our country, and also told personal stories about Reagan.
“The reactor officer (Capt. Kenneth Harvey) and command master chief (CMDCM (SW/AW) Kathy Hansen) were sitting center stage,” said Chief Machinist's Mate (SW) John Kupiec, training department. “The plaque was presented and jellybeans were placed on every chair as a symbol of President Reagan. I thought it was a really nice tribute.”
The Ronald Reagan plaque will join more than 1,600 other veteran displays on the wall. Each tribute includes a photo and short story of the veteran’s military service.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76.