Coast Guard Dedicates Memorial for their Enlisted
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Humbled by the echoing silence along the waters of Cape May
On 27 April 2019, we were honored to attend the Dedication Ceremony of the long awaited Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial, located at the birthplace of the enlisted, Training Center (TRACEN), Cape May.
Being surrounded by the Coast Guard Community - our military family, brought us comfort and peace.
After Aaron passed away, our family learned that the Coast Guard didn't have a memorial for their enlisted. We made a promise to the Coast Guard and more specifically, Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation, to do what we could to help them accomplish their goal of building the Memorial to honor Aaron and 1700 of his shipmates who have lost their lives in the performance of duty. It started with the love and support of our friends and family 'in lieu of flowers' in July of 2016 to the continual generous support of family and friends and corporate sponsors at the first annual CG Classic Golf Tournament in 2017 and beyond. Combined, we raised over $55000 and were humbled to help them reach their financial goal of $450000. The CG Enlisted Memorial Foundation was the dream of the Enlisted. They stood tall with the planning and execution of this stunning memorial. They worked tirelessly for years to gain the financial support that was required and watched their dream become a reality in 2019. We continue to be filled with gratitude to play a small part in its success.
While we were at the ceremony, we were overwhelmed by all the names on the granite wall. Seeing Aaron's name etched in stone was heartbreaking. Seeing all the names before him and knowing that more names would follow shook our family to the core. We experienced first-hand the love and support we received from the leadership at Cape May and the Coast Guard at large. Aaron is among the best of the best.
From the USCG's Official Website – Douglas A. Munro, a signalman first class of the United States Coast Guard, died heroically on Guadalcanal on 27 September 1942. Having volunteered to evacuate a detachment of Marines who were facing annihilation by an unanticipated large enemy force, he succeeded in safely extricating them and in doing so was mortally wounded. Also, on April 24, 2004, while serving as part of Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia aboard USS Firebolt, Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, a damage controlman, and two U. S. Navy sailors were killed in the line of duty while conducting maritime intercept operations in the North Arabian Gulf. Bruckenthal and six other coalition sailors attempted to board a small boat near the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal. As they boarded the boat, it exploded. Bruckenthal later died from the wounds he sustained in the explosion. Bruckenthal was the first Coast Guard member killed in action since the Vietnam War. For his actions Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”.
Take time to learn more about the heroes of the United States Coast Guard. Aaron only started his journey when he set foot on the grounds of Cape May in June of 2016 but he now holds the distinct honor of being the only USCG Recruit to save a life by donating his heart as his mission was complete in that moment.