NCBC honors fallen service members at Bells Across America ceremony

A bell tolled 80 times at the Navy Seabee Base. Each one in honor of a fallen service member.

The Bells Across America service was in honor of Gold Star families, those who have lost a family member who died in service to their country.

The Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport paid tribute to fallen service members across the national at their annual Bells Across America ceremony.

This specific ceremony began in 2017 with the purpose of paying respect to military service members who died while serving their country, as well as remembering their family members.

The first few rows of chairs were designated for Gold Star families which include spouses, children, parents, siblings, or others whose loved ones died in service to our nation. Captain Jeff Powell said, “I will tell you, when ‘Taps’ is playing, and I’m saluting, and I’m looking at them and thinking about them, it’s hard to keep a dry eye. It really is… you think about their courage, and their grace, and just what they’ve been through. It’s really, like I said in my remarks, they’re definitely a part of the military family forever and so we want to remember them.”

Gold Star Family Member Margaret Levens said, “It’s sad that we have this in common, but it is part of the military life and you either accept it or it does you in… and I was able to accept it because Donny’s wanted to be in the military since he was 8, he’s wanted to fly, he went down flying, and he’s still flying with a different set of wings. And each of us have to find our own comfort zone for this, and pulling together makes a big difference.”

After remarks from Captain Jeff Powell, USN Chief selectees read 80 different names of service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice, each followed by the ringing of a bell. “It’s a time for us to get together, and really for our younger service members to remember, ‘hey this is an important thing you’ve signed up to do’ and some people are called upon to give the ultimate sacrifice for that and it’s an important you know solemn occasion that we remember.”

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