On 28 Aug 2021, a memorial service was held onboard the USS New Jersey, moored in Camden, NJ, to honor our fallen brothers from Beirut, Lebanon.
BM Glenn McCurdy, a former crew member on the USS New Jersey from 1983-1986, worked with Ryan Szimnski, the New Jersey museum's curator to put together the memorial service. Approximately 40 Navy and Marine Veterans and their families attended the service, which took place in the ward room onboard the ship.
Glenn welcomed everyone in attendance and Chaplain John Brown gave the invocation. Glenn provided his personal memories from the time that he joined the Navy to the point in which he joined the crew of the USS New Jersey while she was on station off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon in 1983. Ryan gave a very nice tribute to Chief Michael Gorchinski, who perished in the bombing of the BLT Headquarters building and a few Veterans shared their personal stories, not only of the events from 23 Oct 1983, but from their time onboard the Jersey.
Chief Gorchinski was an ET and was in charge of the ET's in the Ops department on ship. Col. Geraghty had radioed the ship saying that they were having issues with the radars mounted on the roof of the BLT and didn't have the test equipment to fix, but the Jersey did. It was the Chief's gear and he knew how to operate it, so he and his gear went to the BLT on the morning of 22 Oct to fix it. He worked all morning and late into the afternoon and missed the last helo back to the ship.
Chaplain Brown ended the services with a prayer or remembrance and a moment of silence.
Afterwards, a tour of the battleship was provided, which included personal memorabilia provided by LCDR Michael Holmes, who served onboard from 1981-1984.
Glenn hopes to make the memorial service an annual event onboard the USS New Jersey and that more and more Veterans will be able to attend. The services will take place in Apr/May of each year.