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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Ceremony salutes those lost at sea in service to the nation

Published 3:06 pm, Saturday, May 24, 2014

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  • First Selectman MichaelTetreau, Capt. Roger Crossland, USNR (Retired), Ray Longden, Navy (Retired) and Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey at the annual Sea Memorial Service at South Benson Marina on Saturday. Photo: Mike Lauterborn / Fairfield Citizen
    First Selectman MichaelTetreau, Capt. Roger Crossland, USNR (Retired), Ray Longden, Navy (Retired) and Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey at the annual Sea Memorial Service at South Benson Marina on Saturday. Photo: Mike Lauterborn

 

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A wave of tributes to the nation's military lost at sea swept through the crowd Saturday during the annual Sea Memorial Ceremony at South Benson Marina.

In its 25th year, the ceremony particularly paid tribute to former Fire Chief David W. Russell Jr., a World War II Navy veteran who died last August. A monument was dedicated in memory of Russell, who had long been an advocate for local veterans and their causes.

The event was led by Capt. Roger Crossland, U.S. Navy (Retired), who welcomed those in attendance, while Master Chief Richard Iannucci, commander of the National Association of Naval Veterans, Port 5, in Bridgeport, guided the veterans participating in the ceremony.

Fairfield University chaplain, the Rev. Charles Allen, delivered an invocation, while Fairfield Ludlowe High School's choral singers, under the direction of Kevin Cotellese, sang the National Anthem and "God Bless America".

At the close of the service, the Connecticut Firefighters Pipes & Drums Band led attendees to the site alongside the harbor channel for dedication of the memorial honoring Russell.