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Gov. Reynolds attends USS Iowa 30 Year Remembrance Ceremony

This news story was published on April 20, 2019.
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Kim Reynolds

DES MOINES – Gov. Reynolds attended the USS Iowa 30 Year Remembrance Ceremony at the Battleship USS Iowa Museum in Los Angeles, Calif on April 19. The ceremony honored the 47 sailors who lost their lives aboard the USS Iowa on April 19, 1989, in one of the largest peace-time tragedies in Navy history.

Please click here to watch the Governor’s remarks during the ceremony. Also, her remarks as prepared for delivery can be found below:

“I am extremely humbled to stand on this historic battleship which carries the Iowa name.

For those of you who have never visited the Iowa State Capitol, just outside my formal office doors in the main entry to the Rotunda, there is a large-scale model of the USS Iowa enclosed in a glass case.

School children, Iowans of all ages, and out-of-state visitors come to see the massive replica and often take their pictures in front of it.

In fact, recently one of my daughters and a grandson were part of an elementary school group that was captivated by the stories shared by their tour guide. Stories that highlighted this ship’s role in our nation’s history.

The USS Iowa ship model in Des Moines provides a precious link between America’s Heartland and the brave patriots who selflessly defend it.

I understand that we have with us today many of the 1,500 shipmates of the 47 sailors who lost their lives 30 years ago. Like all our brave service men and women, you vowed to serve and protect our country.

However, the invisible scars left by the tragedy in Turret 2 are something that you have quietly carried for three decades. I have no words to remove your grief or address the deep scars that the passing of your shipmates left behind.

However, your presence here today represents another step forward to finding peace and offering your solemn respect. It’s an opportunity to connect with others who share your journey.

And, while being at the USS Iowa may spark deep memories, we pray she also brings you more closure today.

We know the path to healing is as unique as the people who walk it and you are a band of brothers sharing a bond that few will ever know.

It is my hope that you find solace and strength in one another and may April 19, 2019 mark the beginning of renewed friendships and faith.

To the families of the 47 fathers, sons, and brothers who will be forever remembered as young, courageous, strong, and most of all, loved sailors, may God bless you.

Please know that we will hold these departed sailors in our hearts now and always. You are part of a larger community which understands your pain and celebrates the way each of your loved ones lived their lives.

We are inspired that the Iowa 47 were brave men who answered the call to serve a purpose much bigger than themselves. They worked hard and earned the reputation of being a crew of talented, quick-witted sailors who enjoyed doing their jobs.

Simply put, they were 47 good men who created unique legacies that live on today.

Lastly, the story of the USS Iowa isn’t one that begins or ends in tragedy. It’s one that continues with patriotism, promise, and possibilities for all who visit her.

She is so much more than just a battleship. Throughout her days at sea and still today, she stands as a symbol of military might. And, her legacy of commitment reflects our liberties that we prize and the rights that we maintain. That’s what she sailed for and that’s why she will be here for generations to see.

Today, she’s a place for military members of all ranks to return home and share memories of their service with friends and family. Visitors, from all over the world, will experience the enormity of one of the world’s biggest battleships.

She’s a place for Americans to remember our history and to forge our future.

Whether she’s docked as a museum in California or portrayed as a replica within the Iowa State Capitol, the USS Iowa is both a teacher and sanctuary.

It’s been said that one of the most important gifts we give our children is our name. It tells a lot about who we are, what we stand for, and where we come from. I’m proud to read “Iowa” on the stern of this beautiful vessel and I’m humbled to be onboard.

Today, the US flag that is flying over the Iowa State Capitol flies in the memory of the Iowa 47.

We are forever grateful for their sacrifice and this very flag will be sent to the USS Iowa in support of the friends, families, and shipmates of the Iowa 47.

Thank you again for being here today.

May God bless each of you, our great state of Iowa, and the United States of America.

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2 Responses to Gov. Reynolds attends USS Iowa 30 Year Remembrance Ceremony

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 21, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Too bad it’s sitting in LA California – a socialist state not wanting to be part of AMERICA – well when the earthquake comes and cauliflower breaks away from the rest of America it may be the only survivor. HURRAHHH !

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 21, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Nice to know that this ship was manned by Patriots – a word now known as M – A – G – A – !