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Monday, June 1, 2020

A MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE TO FALLEN HEROS – JOSH (THOMAS1 BELLIC) REPORTING


The United States Navy has been a force to be reckoned with for nearly a quarter of a millennia.  Today’s Navy operates on Land, Sea and in the air.   And now, even cyberspace enjoys a Naval presence, with the addition of Ships, Aircraft Squadrons, Submarines and Training Commands in SecondLife.


Last week I had the very real pleasure of observing a Memorial Day observation onboard the SL NAS Patuxent River.  This has become an annual tradition here, where residents are asked to pause and take time to recognize the brave men and women how have given their lives in defense of the United States and peace-loving peoples everywhere.


The base was packed when I arrived, and there were so many people in attendance I was initially denied entry.  After flashing my Press Pass, I was eventually allowed onto the base and made my way to the ceremony.  I arrived just in time to hear Captain Asra Kron addressing the solemn crowd.


“Today is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who must never be forgotten. The men and women who laid down their lives in service to us all.  No matter the cause, no matter the reason, it is not a soldier, sailor or airman's place to question why, but his or her duty to do or die. Today we honor the dead heroes. Today we cherish the ones who survived. Today we show our gratitude to those who serve.  In this sacred site's tradition we do all these things by saying out loud the name of the twenty one Blue Angels who lost their lives while in service with the demonstration squadron in real life.”
In the minutes that followed, Taps was played as each of the 21 names was read.  


Following “TAPS”, the ceremony heard a rendition of Amazing Grace, and a memorial poem read by  Coast Guardsman and Poet,  Sachin De Saltu.  


Following the ceremony, I caught up with CAPT. Asra "Cougar" Kron, and she graciously consented to an interview.





Josh Bellic (JB):  Tell me Captain.  How long have you been hosting these Memorial Day Observations?


Asra Kron (AK) - I have been in SL since 2006, not as Asra Kron, obviously, although now I am all there is (yes I broke out the booze and I am still having a ball, my former self has been shelved since I was "re-born" in 2013). Whenever I can, since I can remember, I attend the Memorial Day ceremonies in SL. As a SL Naval officer it has been my privilege to host Memorial Day remembrances at Third Fleet locations in 2018 (see http://nasmiramar.blogspot.com/2018/05/memorial-day-ceremony-nas-miramar.html) and this year, 2020.



JB:  Do you put these together yourself, or do you have a Staff who assist?


AK:  Usually all by myself, I don't have a "staff" for that (God how I envy you at SLE!), although my fellow officers and enlisted do participate and sometimes throw a (welcomed) helping hand.




JB:  How did you first come to be connected with SL Navy?


AK:  I love the ocean and I have been in love with aviation since I was a kid in real life. Put the two together and you read "Naval Aviator". I first started a very small Search and Rescue operating from the marina where I kept my sail boats, back in 2011 and that led to an encounter with the greatest Master Chief I will ever meet, then MCPO Margot Fenring, of the Seychelles Isles Coast Guard. I was hooked and joined with the rate of Petty Officer 3rd class (yes I am a "mustang" and very proud of it - it was also where I earned my call sign: "Cougar" - don't ask...). The next step for me was a transfer to the United States Navy in Second Life (do not confuse with SL United States Navy) in 2014, which I did maintaining my rank of Ensign at the time, flying with VF-101 Grim Reapers aboard the sorely missed CVN-68 USS Nimitz and Carrier Strike Group 11. The rest is history.


JB:  Who is Sachin De Saltu? He is certainly an interesting Character?


AK:  Oh my God, he certainly is! And believe me I have never met that young man before! I later confirmed with his superiors and he is indeed a recruit in the Second Life Coast Guard. You probably noticed Sachin's line during General Harrison's speech. At several points during the ceremony, this young Second Life Coast Guard recruit was announcing he "had a poem". Due to the strictly timed ceremony layout I could not include this impromptu participation, but as I said good bye to all and they were getting ready to leave, recruit Sachin De Saltu spoke up once more. I smiled and called him to the podium and everyone stood still. And listened. It was a very moving moment and a perfect serendipity to close the event.





JB:  Anything else you would like to tell our readers?


AK:  I would like to invite them all to get to know us better and find out about our almost 5 years of history browsing through SL USN Third Fleet official weblog at http://nasmiramar.blogspot.com/ and through our recently reactivated SL USN Third Fleet magazine NEPTUNE at https://thirdfleetneptune.blogspot.com/ - lots to see and do! And finally, I would like to thank the SLE for attending our Memorial Day ceremony and inviting me to tell you a little more about it and the SL United States Navy Third Fleet.


NAS Miramar
Official SL United States Navy Third Fleet Blog
and


NEPTUNE - SL Third Fleet Magazine




So, there you have it, Folks.  Recognizing Heroes everywhere.  Even in Cyberspace.

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