NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Crew members aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) held a special commemoration ceremony Sept. 11 in the ship's Floating Accommodation Facility to remember the sacrifices of Americans who lost their lives during the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001.
The event, organized by USS Carl Vinson's American Heritage Observance Committee brought crew members both young and old together to remember and appreciate the continued work and sacrifices that service members make every day in support of the global war on terrorism.
"It gave us a chance not only to reflect on what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, but also to cherish what we have now," said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Erica Bouttry, USS Carl Vinson's Weapons Department.
During the ceremony, crew members recalled and spoke about the emotions and feelings evoked during the tragedies of 2001. For many Carl Vinson Sailors, it affirmed why they joined the military, or continue to serve in today's Navy.
"Every time I see those videos, it hits me," said Bouttry. "It reminds me why I joined the Navy and [why]I serve my country."
The crew also watched a small collection of videos taken during the long and horrifying hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
At the end of the presentation, Carl Vinson's commanding officer, Capt. Ted Carter, rose from his seat and spoke to the crew. Carter shared his experience of when and where he was at the time of the attacks and how the events changed his life.
The torch of remembrance was then passed among members of the crowd on hand during an emotional commemoration and vigil for the victims of the attacks.
Lt. Shane Dillman, Carl Vinson's command chaplain, ended the ceremony with a benediction and reminded the crew of the important role Sailors play in defending their nation as members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
"There is no day in which I am more proud to be an American citizen and to wear the cloth of this great nation then on Sept. 11," said Dillman.
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH, Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.