USS ATLANTA

GOD BLESS
 AMERICA


USS JUNEAU
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Navy Hymn
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 MEMORIAL MESSAGE
 CAPTAIN GEORGE L. MARTIN
  CHC, USN, RET.
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The vast majority of the American people in a "name association" game, if asked where ATLANTA and JUNEAU were connected, would say Georgia and Alaska. Only a tiny fraction would be able to call from their sub-conscious a remembrance of the Battle of Guadalcanal and the sacrifice made by the brave though frightened men who gave their lives as those two ships went to the bottom of Ironbottom Sound and Indispensable Strait, in what Admiral King called, "one of the most furious sea battles ever fought."

For those who remember, November 12-13,1942 is a night that must be commemorated. In what spirit shall we remember this day and those men whose bodies went to the depth of the sea as their souls joined the immortals? A touching story from the Old Testament illustrates the right way: King David, weary and spent after a hard battle with the Philistines, takes refuge in a cave near his native town of Bethlehem. Spurred by memories of his boyhood but knowing that the town is now occupied by the enemy and that he is therefore longing for the impossible, he wishes for a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem. Hardly had these words fallen from his parched lips, when three heroic soldiers break through the enemy lines, draw water from the well just outside to gates, and bring the precious drink to their king. David recieves the vessel from the hands of the heroes but, "would not drink of it, poured it out to the Lord and said, 'Far be it from me before my God that I should do this. Shall I drink the lifeblood of these men? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.'" Bought at a price of the risk of so great a sacrifice, it was too costly a drink to be enjoyed selfishly. The only use worthy of it was to pour it out as a thank-offering to the Lord.

The sensivity to sacrifices made for us and this sense of obligation to make consecrated use of the results of sacrifice, constitute the right spirit of commemorating this Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal and its monumental heroes.

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No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his body, 
to risk his well-being, to risk his life in a great cause.
~ Theodore Roosevelt ~

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This Web Page was created and
is maintained by Paul D. Henriott
13 November 1997 never to updated hereafter
If you have comments,
email me at phenriott@rtcol.com

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