USS Parche Dedicates Sail to Puget Sound Navy Museum

Story Number: NNS070828-19Release Date: 8/28/2007 4:21:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Maebel Tinoko, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Det. Northwest

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- A special ceremony was held at the Puget Sound Navy Museum on Aug. 24, to dedicate the sail from the decommissioned submarine USS Parche (SSN 683).

"This sail will forever be a tangible and enduring monument which will be used to share [with] our friends and families for all generations," said Will Longman, chairmen of the Parche Association. "This monument will continue to be part of our lives and it is important to preserve naval history."

The dedication ceremony was sponsored by the Parche Association to preserve the sail and establish the museum exhibit.

Retired Rear Adm. Richard Buchanan, former Parche commanding officer and current CEO and president of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, said the sail is a way to pay tribute to the officers and Sailors who have served on board the submarine.

"This sail is a valuable memorabilia of a submarine that represents the Navy's history," said Buchanan. "I am proud of what the Navy [service members] continue to do for this country."

During its 30 years in commission, Parche earned an unprecedented nine Presidential Unit Citations, 10 Navy Unit Citations and 13 Naval Expeditionary Medal awards, making it the most highly decorated naval vessel in U.S. history.

For many Sailors, the sail dedication was a way to keep history alive.

"I think it's important to continue to educate the community about U.S. Navy history," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brian Sandam, Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) Ophthalmology Department. "We can learn from the past and respect those who served before us. This monument will always be a physical reminder to many of us and it will help keep their history alive for future generations."

Some current Sailors believe participating in events such as this pays homage to the legacy of their shipmates.

"It's important to remember the sacrifices of those who have gone before us," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Terrell Stephens, NHB. "Saving this piece of history shows an appreciation to the past submariners. This sail shows a milestone that was set forth in the past to make history what it is today."

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