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Tolling of the Boats

 

The Tolling of the Boats ceremony is a solemn recognition and tribute to both the boats and men of the United States Submarine Navy lost since the founding of the Submarine Force in April 1900 who, in the performance of their duties, when disastrous events occurred, gave their lives in the service of our country.

 

Since the birth of our Underwater Navy in 1900, sacrifice and dedication to duty have made our volunteer service what it is today.  These accomplishments did not come easy or without the “Can Do!” spirit possessed by those who wear the coveted Dolphin insignia with pride and dignity.

 

In remembrance of our shipmates who have sailed on their “Final Patrol” this ceremony is dedicated.  You shall not be forgotten!

 

Whenever the bell is tolled for our lost boats and shipmates, please keep one thing uppermost in your minds: No one forced our lost submariners to go to sea on the respective boats to which they were assigned.  They went willingly, and were proud to serve in an all volunteer service.  Those who chose to be transferred to other naval activities were not denied that privilege, and were relieved of their obligations to further serve on board submarines.  Honor and never forget our fellow submariners, who exemplified the courage and desire to put their lives on the line in wartime, the Cold War, and peacetime conditions to preserve the freedom that we as Americans cherish so much.

 

 

Shipmates, please pause to remember those of our shipmates who sailed in harm’s way and did not return.

 

Lord, these departed shipmates with Dolphins on their chest

are part of an outfit known as the best.

Make them welcome, and take them by the hand.

You’ll find without a doubt they were the best in all the land.

So, Heavenly Father, their names are on the rolls

of our departed shipmates still on patrol.

Let them know that we who survive

will always keep their memories alive.

 

 

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MARBLEHEAD BASE is the North Shore Massachusetts Region Chapter

of United States Submarine Veterans, Inc