A long time ago, in a place… well… 4.8 miles from here… a wise man told me a story to teach me a great truth. I have carried that story in my head for nearly forty years, and the recent defeat that I have suffered at the hands of my kitchen sink has reminded me that the reason for the story remains as true today as the day it first was told in 1908.
It is also why I had no time today to do any research or think at all about my reaction to the President of the United States stepping into North Korea. I mean, obviously, it’s a big deal and all, but there seems like there should be some deeper meaning to it.
And maybe that meaning is found in the skies overhead, where the International Space Station floated by at 0430 this morning as Ben and I stood in the street and watched in awe?
I cannot pinpoint the exact day that I fell in love with ships and the sea. But I can tell you that in my journey, there were three ships that really captured my soul. The USS Wahoo, the USS Hornet, and the USS South Dakota. The Navy has a tradition of naming new ships for previous ships. Thus the second Hornet started life as the USS Kearsarge. A name carried on today by an amphibious carrier. The Wahoo had a second boat named for her, but until this past week, none of the three had a current ship carrying their name.
The Hornet is actually two ships, different in classes, different in fate, but united by her name and by their glories. Yesterday we learned that M/V Petrel, the wreck hunting ship that Paul Allen had built found the first Carrier, USS Hornet.
Last week, the newest Virginia Class submarine joined the fleet. And she carries not only the name but her Ships seal reminds us of the glory of her namesake.
In June of 2017, I was stunned by how many people who had never been to sea on a Warship and never stood a deck watch felt the need to inform me that there was no way that the USS Fitzgerald collision was not a terrorist attack. You see, with all that equipment there was no way in hell that they didn’t see the CRX Crystal coming, and if they didn’t it was because the Russians had hacked them. “It was an attack, Dave!” they screeched.
There’s an old saying, Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.
The Navy, which tried to suppress the report on the collision, has at last been compelled to admit what every sailor already knew. There was no attack. There was a failure of leadership.
In the parlance of Boot Camp, nothing was up to and touching.
Seven people died because of it…