Truman Celebrates Women’s History Month


Story Number: NNS060331-16Release Date: 4/1/2006 2:30:00 PM
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By Journalist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Kat Smith, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) commemorated women's history month March 28, with a celebration and cake cutting ceremony.

This year's national theme was 'Women, Builders of Communities and Dreams.' Sailors honored those women who fought for equal rights throughout America, including people such as Harriet Tubman and Eleanor Roosevelt.

The ceremony began with the National Anthem sung by Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW) Lisa Williams. Truman Command Chaplain, Cmdr. Steven Brown followed her with the invocation, giving thanks for being able to celebrate these days and people.

After a short skit of 'Lackawanna Blues,' the guest speaker, Dr. Geneva M. Walker-Johnson, dean of student life at Old Dominion University, took the stand and delivered a poem she personally wrote.

"When we asked her to speak, she was really excited and had some great ideas," said Heritage Committee coordinator Lt. j. g. Christopher Labissiere, Heritage Committee coordinator. "It was really due to her excitement that we decided to have her come."

"I was very excited to be asked, and honored," said Walker-Johnson. "I'm new to the area and it was just nice to know that someone thought of me."

While speaking to Truman Sailors about women in the community, Walker-Johnson thought of her heroine she personally looks up to.

"My biggest woman role model would have to be my mother," said Walker-Johnson. "My parents both began as a maid and butler. My mother ended up opening her own beauty salon and educating herself. She was definitely a strong force in my life."

After her speech another woman came to the stand with a poem of her own. Naaila Gray performed the poem 'Designer's Original.' The poem reflected everyone's unique and important identity.

The ceremony wrapped up with a cake cutting on the mess decks with cake for everyone to enjoy, and the Sailors who attended were happy to give some of their day to honor those women who came before us.

"I thought the ceremony was very interesting," said Interior Communication Electrician 3rd Class Ashley Simms, temporarily assigned to Supply Department. "I enjoyed [Naaila Gray's] poem the most. She was very energetic."

"I thought it was good and very informative," said Yeoman Seaman Layla Howell. "I learned the most from the doctor's poem and speech."

After all the cake was gone and tributes paid, Truman Sailors went back to their mission at hand, but not before taking a little Women's History Month with them.

Truman is currently undergoing a Dry-docked Planned Incremental Availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and expects to return to sea later this year.

For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.

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