Coast Guard honors members who have ‘crossed the bar’

- Posted on Nov 26, 2019 - 02:38 PM

Photo: Raymond Procopio of the Mathews Flotilla lays a wreath at the Auxiliary Memorial at U.S. Coast Guard Station Milford Haven in Mathews during a ceremony on Nov. 8.

Raymond Procopio of the Mathews Flotilla lays a wreath at the Auxiliary Memorial at U.S. Coast Guard Station Milford Haven in Mathews during a ceremony on Nov. 8.

In a day of remembrance and reflection, active duty Coast Guard men and women gathered alongside Coast Guard Auxiliarists at United States Coast Guard Station Milford Haven on Nov. 8 to honor those members who have “crossed the bar.”

One of only four Auxiliary memorials in the country is located at Station Milford Haven, said a press release. As part of the memorial gardens, names of auxiliary members of flotillas headquartered in Gloucester, Mathews, Callao, Deltaville, Kilmarnock, Lake Anna, Poquoson and Williamsburg are etched in brick.

“Auxiliary members invest their time, knowledge and efforts to support the crews of Milford Haven,” said Chief Boatswain Mate Joshua Menges, the station’s Officer-in-Charge. “Our Auxiliary members continue to serve alongside us as chefs, boat crews, watch standers, inspectors, mentors, trainers, and friends. They have become a part of our Milford Haven family, and we look forward to our continued service together.”

In addition to active duty Coast Guard personnel and members of the Auxiliary, a number of widows of deceased auxiliary members were at the ceremony, said the release. During the invocation, Frans Kasteel said that the memorial service was “in remembrance of auxiliarists who crossed the bar, but will forever be in our hearts.”

The service concluded with the reading of names on the memorial and the playing of Taps.

Created by Congress in 1939, the Coast Guard Auxiliary is the volunteer uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas, said the release.

The Auxiliary’s multi-pronged mission is to promote and improve recreational boating safety, to provide trained crews and facilities to augment the Coast Guard and enhance safety and security of ports, and to support Coast Guard operational, administrative, and logistical requirements, said the release.

The Auxiliary can participate in all Coast Guard missions and activities except law enforcement and armed conflict, said the release. The most common Auxiliary activities are: safety and security patrols, search and rescue, mass casualty or disasters, pollution response and patrols, homeland security, commercial fishing and vessel exams, recreational boating safety, platforms for boarding parties, and recruiting for all service in the Coast Guard. 

In addition to the above, said the release, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary operates in any mission as directed by the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard or Secretary of Homeland Security.

For more information, visit www.flotilla33.org.