TR Sailors Travel to Sagamore Hill, NY for Namesake's Birthday Memorial


Story Number: NNS111105-04Release Date: 11/5/2011 12:17:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyrell Morris, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

OYSTER BAY, NY (NNS) -- USS Theodore Roosevelt's (CVN 71) Sailors of the Quarter attended a memorial service honoring the birthday of the ship's namesake Oct. 27 in Oyster Bay, N.Y.

Sailor of the Quarter Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class (AW/SW) Justin Etheridge, Junior Sailor of the Quarter Logistics Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Phillip Allen, Bluejacket of the Quarter Electrician's Mate 3rd Class (SW/AW) Ronnie Williams, and Rough Rider of the Quarter Culinary Specialist Seaman Rubin Shore attended the service to honor the 153rd birthday of former President Theodore Roosevelt at Young's Memorial Cemetery.

The annual wreath-laying ceremony has been a long-standing tradition since the Quentin Roosevelt American Legion Post No. 4 started the memorial in 1919.

"I am honored I was selected to attend such a prestigious event," said Shore. "I learned a lot about our namesake and am honored to serve aboard TR."

Every year the second graders from Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School attend the wreath-laying ceremony.

"It has been a long-standing tradition that the oldest grade here goes to the wreath-laying ceremony," said Gina Faust, principal of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School.

Following the memorial, TR Sailors went to Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School for a presentation by representatives of the National Park Foundation. Jonathan Jarvis, Director of National Park Service, presented the school with a teddy bear on behalf of the National Park Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Association.

"It is a privilege to have the Theodore Roosevelt Sailors here at the school," said Faust. "The students and staff enjoyed their visit."

The National Park Foundation donated a notecard purchased at an auction for $25,000 that the former president wrote to his youngest son, Quentin, in 1903 during a presidential visit to Yellowstone Park.

TR Sailors also took a tour of the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site that features the Roosevelt Museum, bookstore, and the home he raised his family in. The huge house features 23 rooms and has hardly any changes since 1910.

"He held speeches on his front lawn, hosted numerous government officials and other influential people for meetings and dinner, and died in this very house," said Allen. "There is so much history in this house and I'm glad I got to visit such a great piece of history."

The home is scheduled to undergo a three-year renovation at the end of the year and the TR Sailors were the final Sailors to visit the site before renovations begin. The home will be given a comprehensive interior and exterior rehabilitation of its architectural and structural elements from the roof to the foundation that will cost approximately $6 million.

"I have researched a lot about our namesake since I have been assigned to this ship, but no amount of research can amount to the knowledge I've gained from coming on this trip and seeing it first hand," said Etheridge.

For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

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