CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One of Corpus Christi's most popular attractions hosted a somber ceremony Monday honoring our nation's service men and women who died while on active duty.
“Today is obviously a very important day," USS Lexington Museum Executive Director Steve Banta said. "And it’s really something we’re honored to commemorate here."
The annual Memorial Day wreath-laying aboard the World War II-era aircraft carrier was well attended now that COVID-19 guidelines have been greatly relaxed.
“It’s just amazing to see people out again enjoying time with their family and friends," Banta said. "And I just hope that in the course of celebrating today, they just continue to remember that sacrifice."
Former Navy Captain Robert Younger was one of the many veterans in attendance.
Watching a wreath ceremoniously fall from the ship into Corpus Christi Bay reminded him of burials-at-sea while he served aboard two aircraft carriers during his 33 years of military service.
“Benefactors or following along people asked that they be buried at sea because of their memories of the Navy." Younger said.
While not all of his memories of his service time are happy, Younger is pleased that ceremonies like the one aboard The Lex take place on this holiday every year.
“It means a lot," he said. "I had some people that were lost, not so much in combat, but other things that happened — accidents — things that happened in life."
Today's ceremony honors all fallen service members, but it wasn't lost on those who attended that sailors died aboard The USS Lexington itself during her service time.
“There are those who died serving their country aboard this ship, and it’s something we take very seriously," Banta said.