USS Kearsarge Conducts Burial at Sea

USS Kearsarge Conducts Burial at Sea

USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducted a burial at sea for 11 Sailors, one Marine and one civilian, March 19.

Burials at sea are a long-standing tradition in the Navy, in which the cremated remains of Sailors, Marines and family members are committed to the sea while the ship is underway.

Among the Sailors buried was Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Thomas Morrow IV. His son, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Thomas J. Morrow V, is part of the ship’s crew and brought his father’s remains aboard Kearsarge to include in the scheduled burials.

“I feel lucky to even be present because I know most family members never get to see it since they take place on a war ship while on deployment,” said Morrow. “It was what my father wanted, and it exceeded all of my expectations.”

USS Kearsarge command chaplains Lt. Cmdr. Ulysses L. Ubalde and Lt. Brett M. Sabella, shared the honor of delivering prayers for those committed to the sea.

“Doing a burial at sea is an incredible honor,” said Sabella. “These men and women served their country honorably and deserved to have an equally honorable burial. It was my privilege to be a part of giving this final act of respect for those who made the choice to serve their country.”

Following a prayer, each box of remains was individually committed to the sea, while “Amazing Grace” was played on the bagpipes.

“I was very honored to be asked to play at the burial at sea,” said Electronics Technician 1st Class Carl Reams, who played the bagpipes for the ceremony. “To honor those who had gone before me; this is my contribution to them.”

The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.

The KSGARG includes Amphibious Squadron 4 (PHIBRON), amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The group is on a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

Naval Today Staff, March 22, 2013; Image: US Navy