I'm always extremely proud to be serving my country but on Friday, September 11, 2009 I felt especially so. That day four CPO-selectees (first class petty officers about to become senior non-commissioned officers), three chiefs, a color guard and the commanding officer of USS New York were invited to attend the Yankees USS New York 9/11 Tribute game at Yankee stadium, which also happened to be the game where Derek Jeter hit his historic 2,722nd hit, besting Lou Gehrig's record for most hits by a Yankees player.
As a public affairs officer the responsibilities of my job include first and foremost telling the Navy's story to our various audiences, preferably through our Sailors themselves as sometimes even our most junior enlisted can speak clearest and with very few words. That historic day, however, I couldn't help but get in on the excitement, walking onto Yankee field for the pre-game ceremony with the New York Sailors and members of the USS New York commissioning committee, including the ship's sponsor, Dotty England.
Having been my second 9/11 anniversary spent in NYC, I know that it will always be a very solemn, private day for New Yorkers. But last Friday was perhaps the first time where I personally felt we are approaching a time of healing and hope for future anniversaries to come, if only inspired by a legend of America's favorite past time.