Local members of the U.S. Navy Submarine Veterans (SubVets) Association hosted a “Tolling of the Boats” ceremony at Naval Submarine Base Point Loma on April 6.
The ceremony is held annually to remember those Sailors lost at sea during World War II. During the ceremony, a short description of what happened to each submarine is read followed by the number of Sailors lost on the boat. A ceremonial bell then is rung in memory of each submarine.
Among the attendees at the ceremony were retired Cmdr. Joe McGrievy and retired Torpedoman’s Mate 2nd Class (SS) C.J. Glassford, who served as the masters of ceremony.
“Tolling of the boats is our way of remembering those who are still lying on the bottom of the ocean in their steel tombs,” McGrievy said.
Not only did the members of the SubVets Association attend, but also Sailors of today’s submarine community were there to pay respects to shipmates lost in the call of duty.
“I am here because it’s part of our history and heritage," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SS) Matthew Jasnik of the Naval Base Point Loma galley. "I don’t know of many receptions that you can get to sit and talk with Sailors that have served before you during rougher times.”
“Being in the submarine community is almost like a second family," added Jasnik. "If you ever have a problem they’re always there for you. Even being on a shore command you still get to experience the bond and tightness within the submarine community.”
McGrievy closed the ceremony in prayer.
“Lord, these departed shipmates with dolphins on their chest are part of an outfit known as the best. Make them welcome and take them by hand. You’ll find without a doubt they’re the best in all the land. So, Heavenly Father, add their names to the rolls of our departed shipmates still on patrol. Let them know that we who survived, will always keep their memories alive. Sailor, rest your oar,” he said.
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman David A. Brandenburg, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific