PHILIPPINE SEA -- The crew of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) held a Holocaust remembrance service in the ship's forecastle, April 24.
The ceremony, presented by the ship's diversity committee, included the national anthem, an invocation, educational displays and a speech by Carl Vinson Commanding Officer Capt. Doug Verissimo.
"Today is a very impactful day," said Verissimo. "This is a cautionary tale for us today, and we must remember how bad things were. We take solace in that we are supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States of America and ensuring evil like this never occurs again."
Following the Verissimo's remarks, members of the diversity committee shared biographies documenting the bravery and resolve of Holocaust victims and facts about the legacy of that dark time.
"For the United States Armed Services, these events are not a distant memory," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate, Fuels 3rd Class Roshieka McNair. "Our modern military was forged in the fight against Nazi tyranny. To defeat Hitler we mobilized all of the strength that we could muster, and in that effort we witnessed many of our finest hours as a military and indeed, as a country."
The event was held as part of the nation's annual commemoration of the Holocaust, the Days of Remembrance, which includes the observance of "Yom Hashoah," or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Each year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum leads the nation in commemorating Days of Remembrance. The chosen theme for this year is: "The strength of the human spirit."
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departed San Diego for a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment Jan. 5.
For more than 70 years, the U.S. Navy has maintained a persistent naval presence in the Indo-Asia Pacific. The U.S. Navy is committed to continuing this forward presence, which is focused on stability, regional cooperation and economic prosperity for all nations. Carl Vinson has deployed to the region several times, starting with a deployment to the Western Pacific in 1983 a year after commissioning. Most recently in 2015, Carl Vinson conducted port visits and exercises with regional navies in the South China Sea.