Sub School Honors San Francisco Sailor
Submarine School in Groton has unveiled a memorial to MM2(SS) Joseph Ashley, who gave his life during the San Francisco grounding in January. From this excellent article in The New London Day (registration required) we see again the bonds that connect submariners and their families:
"(MMCS(SS) Hedman, Sub School Auxiliaryman Instructor) contacted the Ashleys through the Web site to ask if they could provide some items for a shadow box at Sub School.
“It was difficult to part with Joey's personal stuff, but when he told me what they wanted it for, I decided to go ahead and send it,” said Daniel Ashley. “People have been so gracious since this happened. So many people have felt that they had to do something in his memory. That's where we get the strength we needed to get through this.”
"The ribbons and submariners' dolphins in the shadow box are copies of what the young sailor wore, because the family kept the originals, but they provided a flag, one of more than 200 that were planted on their front lawn by family friends in the days after the accident, as well as pictures, and the uniform their son wore as a 3rdClass petty officer.
“Everything they sent us, we used,” Hedman said. He brought everything in a cardboard box down to Roland Morgan in the school's carpentry shop, who put in his own time to craft a beautiful wood and glass case that could be displayed in the space that was available.
"What better way to remember him, Hedman asked, than a shadow box in the entryway of the Naval Submarine School building where all auxiliarymen train, to keep him ever in the memory of the community he represented?
"Daniel Ashley said he hopes the shadow box serves another purpose, as well.
“What better place to put something like that to remind them that things can happen, that they have to be on their toes — that everyone has to be very serious about how dangerous submarine duty can be,” he said."
Nothing more needs be said...