It was likely the last Civil War burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus delivered remarks at the funeral. Media from outlets across the country scribbled notes in the back row.
Despite all the attention, the funeral of two Monitor sailors on Friday was just like every other in one way: Sailors were honoring lost shipmates.
“The country and the Navy have a long memory, particularly and rightfully so when it comes to fallen heroes,” said Cmdr. John Fancher, commanding officer of Virginia-class attack sub Minnesota, under construction in Newport News, Va…..
read full story here: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2013/03/navy-monitor-sailors-finally-laid-rest-030813/
When you’re final dive is made, and your battery’s running low,
You’ll know there lies a boat for you many fathoms here below,
With your annunciators jammed on full and your depth gauge needles bent,
Your accumulator’s dry of oil and your air banks all are spent,
It’s then you get to wonderin’, “is my life’s boat rigged for dive?”
Your guessing drill commences, “am i dead or still alive?”
You pace the flooded decks with scorn and curse the flaws of man.
Into realms of Rex you’ve stepped, and here you’ll make your stand.
To live your life, as sailors must, at the bottom of the sea,
There’s one you’ll have to reckon-that one, my friend, is thee.
Will your conscience do you justice when the final muster’s in?
Did you lead the kind of life you should in every port you’ve been?
The answers to these questions and many, many more,
are locked in the hearts of sailormen from Cannes to Singapore.
So, when your day for mast rolls ’round. The choice is up to you,
sailor chart your course of life right now. Chart it straight and true.
Now’s the time to flood your tanks and trim up ‘fore and aft.
It’s a trifle late when the klaxon sounds to square away your craft.
Your final billet lies below, on “Old Ocean’s” floor.
So, be ready when that last word’s passed. Sailor, rest your oar!
Photo courtesy of Civil War TrustPhoto courtesy of Civil War TrustPhoto courtesy of Civil War TrustPhoto courtesy of Civil War Trust
Photo courtesy of Civil War Trust
It is with a heavy heart that we share another Vacant Chair here in Maine.
Gordon was a Civil War Historian who had a craft for cannons. He not only restored and operated his own but also restored all of the Fort’s howitzer cannons. He was a member of the 20th ME CO B reenacting group and was the founder of the 6th Maine Battery reenacting group (http://www.sixthmaine.org/).
His own military career was spent in Viet Nam where he honorably served his enlistment. His service there can never be appreciated to the fullest.
Our thoughts and prayers for Amy and their family.
Fair winds and following seas, Captain McRae.
Taken during an interview at Fort Knox on June 30, 2012
Photo courtesy of Brian Swartz
With Paul Dudley (20thME) Cherryfiled, Maine May 19, 2012
Photo courtesy of Miss Rose
EDDINGTON – Gordon P. McRae, 63, died unexpectedly July 6, 2012, at his home, of a probable heart attack. He was born Sept. 2, 1948, in Rockland, the son of Lincoln E. McRae Jr. and Shelby (Glendenning) McRae. Gordon was a graduate of Rockland High School, class of 1968. He earned an associate degree in accounting at Husson College. Gordon served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Gordon worked as a truck driver, mechanic and metal fabricator, and had a special interest in steam power. He was an avid Civil War enthusiast, and he was instrumental in forming, along with Bill Lannon, the 6th Maine Artillery Reenacting Unit, and was a long time member of the 20th Maine Company B Infantry. Gordon served on the board of directors of Friends of Fort Knox. He also enjoyed participating in truck pulls at local fairs. Surviving are his wife, Amy (Hunt) McRae of Eddington; his father, Lincoln McRae Jr. of Owls Head; two daughters, Wendy Lynds and her husband, Chris, of South Port, N.C., and Andrea McRae of Eddington; grandchildren, Cameron, Katelyn, Jackson and Isabella; one brother, Skip McRae and his wife, Gail, of Jacksonville, Fla.; a nephew, Lincoln McRae IV; and a niece, Shelby Soucy. The family invites relatives and friends to a memorial gathering 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor. Gifts in his memory may be sent to Friends of Fort Knox, P.O. Box 456, Bucksport, ME 04416. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
Published in BDN Maine on July 9, 2012