BALTIC SEA (NNS) — Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) held a D-Day and Battle of Midway commemoration ceremony, June 6.
The ceremony held on the ship’s mess deck honored the 68th anniversary of the World War II D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, during which allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy.
This invasion is credited as being essential to winning the war on the European front. Attendees of the commemoration included the crew of Normandy, embarked personnel from Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and representatives from Denmark, Georgia and Germany who are aboard the ship in support of the 40th maritime, multinational Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise currently being conducted in the Baltic Sea.
„It’s wonderful to here on the ship that is named after the place and actions which we are remembering today,“ said Rear Adm. Ann Phillips, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2. „This is an extremely special occurrence to honor these events in the Baltic Sea where so many WWII battles were fought; and to commemorate with allies and partners who were once our adversaries.“
The commemoration also honored the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Navy’s victory over the Japanese at the Battle of Midway, which was waged June 4-6, 1942, and is known as one of the greatest naval battles in history. Both the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of Midway are recognized as major turning points for the U.S. military and allied forces during WWII.
„When we celebrate Midway and D-Day we do more than have cake,“ said Capt. Kevin Hill, USS Normandy commanding officer. „We honor the events and people of the battles, and the heritage upon which our Navy is built. It is our heritage and history that makes us great.“
Normandy, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser homeported in Norfolk, Va., is the U.S. flagship for BALTOPS 2012 which began June 1, and continues through June 16.