Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | July 12, 2021

Seabees Install Island Memorial Chapel Placard on U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll

If you’re looking for a sign, visit the Island Memorial Chapel.

On June 26, IMC personnel celebrated the newest addition to the chapel grounds: a large wooden placard bearing the chapel name and service times installed at the facility’s Ocean Road entrance. Personnel from U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four, Detail Marshall Islands completed the installation June 25 and poured custom-designed concrete forms for the placard posts.

Progress on the placard’s installation has been ongoing since 2017, but its history dates back even further. The chapel was dedicated in February 1945. The first service times were not advertised until 1951, according to former longtime resident and island historian Bill Remick.

Over the years the chapel had “a succession of such signs.” Remick recalls a similar installation in 1975. On his first return visit to his “old hometown” island in 1989, Remick said he noticed that sign was gone.

“I would guess that as they fade or wear out, they get replaced with similar but different signs,” he said.

In 2017, the aforethought of expert carpenter Dan Tibbles made the current placard possible. During a chapel roof repair, he reserved a portion of unfinished lumber and built the placard’s baseboard. Together with the island’s then-chaplains—Fr. Vic Langhans and Ch. Steve Munson, of the Catholic and Protestant congregations, respectively—they realized they had, essentially, received a sign.

The team got to work planning the placard. Munson assisted in sanding the large, natural wood panel while Langhans researched past versions in chapel files.

Generations of past Kwaj residents will be struck by how similar this latest placard is to previous iterations. Choices made for lettering and design were informed by vintage photographs. The chapel reached out to a stateside sign shop that custom-designed a retro set of vinyl gothic letterforms in warm yellow.

Then, as sometimes happens, most of the people actively involved in the project PCS’d.

In late 2018, IMC Protestant Ch. Brian Conner inherited his chapel duties and the large wood panel that lay in the chapel’s open-air antechamber. A year later, he began the project anew with Fr. Jim Ludwikowski, IMC administrative staff and members of the Catholic congregation and chapel executive board.

Volunteers from the Noble and Phelon families assisted in affixing the vinyl lettering to the sign and sealing the placard with layers of polyurethane over several weeks. The novel coronavirus further stalled progress on installation until 2021. Thanks to NMCB-4, after four years, the work is finished.

“It doesn’t seem like much,” Remick said, “but on a remote island further isolated by the pandemic, even little changes receive attention.”

On an island with harsh environmental erosion, strict building codes and constant employee turnover, completing a multi-year project like the placard is no small feat. It stands as testimony to the power of vision and island teamwork. One might even call it a sign.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
322,218
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
U.S. Army Pacific Commander Helps Reopen Land Power Forum, Talks Partnerships
Gen. Charles A. Flynn, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, provides the keynote address for the Land Forces Pacific Symposium in Honolulu May 17, 2022. The symposium, which was held in person for the first time in three years due to the pandemic, is the largest of its kind for armies in the region.
May 18, 2022 - HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) commander lauded the return of the Land Forces Pacific (LANPAC) Symposium here Tuesday, as he marked the first time it has been held in person for three years.“The world...

US Delegation Visits Australia to Enhance Health System Interoperability
Surgeon General Australian Defence Force and Commander Joint Health, Rear Adm. Sarah Sharkey (left) and Rear Adm. Pamela Miller, Command Surgeon for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, sign the Memorandum of Cooperation between Australia and the United States, May 3, 2022. This was part of an April 25 to May 4, 2022, U.S. health delegation visit to enhance Australian-U.S. health interoperability.
May 18, 2022 - SYDNEY, Australia – A U.S. health delegation headed by Rear Adm. Pamela Miller, Command Surgeon for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and Maj. Gen. Michael Place, Commanding General of 18th Medical Command, visited Australia from...

Eielson Celebrates F-35 Beddown Completion
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Samuel Chipman, the 356th Fighter Squadron commander (right), briefs distinguished visitors May 13, 2022, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Eielson has a total of 54 permanently-assigned, combat-coded F-35A Lightning II aircraft, cementing Alaska’s status as the most concentrated U.S. state for fifth-generation aircraft.
May 18, 2022 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The 354th Fighter Wing celebrated the arrival of its final F-35A Lightning II aircraft and the subsequent completion of its fleet with a ceremony May 13.U.S. Air Force Gen. Ken Wilsbach,...

Ceremony Honors Fallen U.S. Service Member from World War II in Thailand
Ceremony Honors Fallen U.S. Service Member from World War II in Thailand
May 18, 2022 - RAYONG, U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Thailand -- The United States repatriated recovered osseous material from the probable crash site of a United States aircraft lost over Lampang Province, 78 years ago during World War Two...

Marine Corps Forces Pacific Marine Recognized for Volunteer Efforts
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brandon A. Brown (right), and administrative specialist with Headquarters and Service Battalion (HQSVCBN), U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC), shakes hands with Col. Eduardo A. Bitanga II, Commander, HQSVCBN, MARFORPAC during a Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored virtual Military Appreciation Month Ceremony Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii on May 6. Members of each service were selected by their commands to be recognized during the ceremony for their outstanding community service. 



(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Maximilian C. Campbell)
May 18, 2022 - Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii -- The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored a Military Appreciation Month virtual ceremony in which U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brandon Brown, an administrative specialist with Headquarters and Service...