Peleliu Conducts Burial at Sea


Story Number: NNS091015-34Release Date: 10/15/2009 9:33:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (EXW) Andrew J. Dunlap, USS Peleliu Public Affairs

PELELIU, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Peleliu (LHA 5) committed to the sea the remains of nine veterans and a spouse during a burial at sea ceremony Oct. 14 off the coast of San Diego.

Peleliu Sailors committed four caskets and six cremated remains to sea, off the aft end of the ship's port side elevator, with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute.

"It's a very surreal and humbling experience. It was an honor to provide these families and our shipmates who have served before us with the ceremonial burial they have requested," said Lt. Demetric Felton, Peleliu's command chaplain.

"These families now have closure. It was a very nice ceremony with true honors given to our fallen military members," said Command Master Chief Brent W. Williams.

One chief petty officer's ashes were interred together with those of his wife. Other veterans laid to rest included officer, chiefs, petty officers and an Army specialist.

"Though we never met them face-to-face, we know who they are. They are not strangers. They are our brothers and sisters in service," said Capt. James T. Cox, Peleliu's executive officer. "They have friends and family who knew them personally and who shall miss them greatly."

Peleliu will present to the families a letter from the commanding officer, a marked nautical chart of the latitude and longitude where the service members were committed, three shell casings from the gun salute, a national ensign plus a DVD and photo CD of the ceremony.

For more news from USS Peleliu (LHA 5), visit www.navy.mil/local/lha5/.

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