USS Underwood Honors Sailors Lost During War of 1812 in Chile


Sailors assigned to guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36) gathered to honor deceased U.S. Sailors interred at the Dissident Cemetery in Valparaiso, Chile, June 11.

A Chilean navy band that performed the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Taps” joined the group of 17 Sailors and officers.

As the Underwood crew members stood in formation, Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, the executive officer, read a brief historical account of the naval battle that resulted in the death of 58 Sailors of USS Essex March 28, 1814.

Cmdr. Peter Mirisola, the commanding officer, then spoke about the War of 1812 and the U.S. Navy’s commemoration of the bicentennial of that war.

We share a bond with the Sailors of 1812 and all Sailors since then,” said Mirisola. “The performance of America’s Sailors and Marines in the War of 1812 set the standard upon which our naval forces continue to build today. We continue to be warfighters, to operate forward, far from home for extended periods of time. We always stand ready to counter any challenge, just as the Sailors during the War of 1812, and each subsequent war in which our navy has fought, stood prepared for anything that came their way.”

Mirisola and Brasseur then presented a wreath of flowers in the shape of the American flag, and signed the Dissident Cemetery logbook, a tradition observed by U.S. Sailors who come to pay their respects.

Underwood crew members also visited the gravesites of a USS Pensacola apprentice and two Sailors from USS Baltimore, buried in the cemetery in 1882 and 1891, respectively.

We remember the selfless sacrifice of each man and we stand ready to carry on their tradition of fighting for freedom, fighting for the future of our families, our country,” said Mirisola. “The selfless sacrifice of those who serve their country and have paid the ultimate sacrifice will forever live on in our memories. We will never forget.”

Underwood is deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean in support of Southern Seas 2012.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports USSOUTHCOM joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

Naval Today Staff, June 13, 2012