Destroyer Momsen Celebrates Independence Day

Story Number: NNS080712-20Release Date: 7/12/2008 11:22:00 PM
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By Lt.j.g. Courtney Thraen, USS Momsen Public Affairs

USS MOMSEN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Momsen (DDG 92) celebrated July 4 with a re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, followed by a cake-cutting ceremony and prize giveaways.

Independence Day coincided with Momsen's Half-way Day Celebration, marking the mid-point of the ship's seven-month deployment.

The celebration commenced with the Declaration of Independence skit, performed by 10 Momsen Sailors. These actors not only donned white scarves neatly tucked into their Navy all-weather coats, but they also used makeup and other props to create the appearance of the nation's forefathers during the late 1700s.

"The skit was a great chance for us to show our enthusiasm and appreciation for our country's dream of Freedom," said Lt. Allison Berg, Momsen morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) officer. "It also was a nice way to kick off Momsen's Independence and Half-Way Day celebration."

The opening scene started with a background narrative delivered by Hull Technician 1st Class (SW) John Parkin.

"With conviction and poise, each actor recited a portion of the Declaration of Independence. Some Sailors even recited their lines from memory. Their energy and passion reflected the spirit of colonies in their quest for independence," said one on board.

Following the historical presentation, the crew enjoyed a delicious "independence cake." That was not the only treat, however. Throughout the day, MWR gave away valuable prizes, announcing the names via loudspeaker. Prizes included several phone cards, IPODs, portable DVD players, portable gaming systems, designer watches, handbags and digital cameras.

The commanding officer then drew the grand prizes, including 16 liberty chits along with two-week parking permits in the executive officers's parking spot, located directy in front of the ship. In port Everett, Sailors normally walk almost 30 minutes from their designated parking lot to the ship.

In total, 46 Sailors received gifts, including Information Technician 1st Class (SW) Tina Cain.

"Receiving a prize is always a great thing. I think MWR is doing an awesome job, keeping the morale of all the Sailors on board high during our long deployment," Cain said.

The celebration concluded with an officer auction. Many junior officers were loaned to the highest bidder in return for a few hours of chore work.

The auction raised more than $5,800, which will fund Momsen's upcoming holiday party in December, said Momsen Commanding Officer Cmdr. Michael Sparks.

"The Fourth of July provides Sailors an opportunity to celebrate the freedom that their service protects," Sparks said. "The MWR teams did a great job infusing history into the celebration along with fun."

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