Veterans honored at United States Navy Memorial

The United States Navy Memorial and Naval District Washington leadership honored veterans at a special Veterans Day Wreath Laying ceremony to honor past, present and future veterans on the Navy Memorial Plaza in Washington, DC, Nov. 10.

Command Master Chief Charles Baldwin, USN (Ret.) and Commissioner Delaware Veterans Affairs Commission served as the keynote speaker. Baldwin took the moment to talk about his passion for educating youngsters about the Navy’s core principles, disciplines and honor deeply integrated in its history.

“I’ve been blessed to be in public education now for 25 years and whenever a young person 8 to 12 years old tells me thank you for your service, it brings a tear to my eye. I know that young person means that – I know that young person is being raised by parents that teach them the right values and the right things to think about,” Baldwin said.

“One way was to get out there and tell the story to young children and tell them the things that veterans did. Sometimes, [it’s] very difficult for veterans to express themselves because of some of the terrible things that they’ve seen and done. But there are some great things they’ve witnessed and done, where they can speak about the camaraderie, importance of military service and what a great feeling it is to serve your country,” Baldwin said.

A year later, Baldwin and an associate raised $12 million where 600 combined young men and women could attend the Delaware Military Academy, the largest Navy JROTC program in the U.S.

Baldwin explained, approximately 2500 students a day are participating in ROTC programs in Delaware, which includes the newly built Marine Military Academy.

“So if anyone is telling you that the children of today don’t really want to get out and serve, then they’re not telling you the whole story. The service that our veterans perform is at the tip of the spear which is very critical to all of us,” said Baldwin, who authored a book on school leadership entitled Carrier to the Classroom , which was part of the Navy Memorial’s Authors on Deck book lecture series.

Retired Rear Adm. Frank Thorpe, IV, President and Chief Executive Officer U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation stated, “The special meaning of this day for me is to have WWII, Korean War and Vietnam war veterans here today realizing the importance this country puts into recognizing those people who have served in the U.S. military,” Thorpe said. “That’s importance for two reasons – We all know it’s important to thank them for their service, but we also need to remember that it’s important for our young children and our children’s children to know that when they raise their right hand and they serve in the military their country is there for them and their country appreciates their service,” Thorpe said. I welcome you today to honor, recognize and celebrate all of our veterans.”

Baldwin’s son, Boatswain Mate 1st Class William Baldwin followed his dad’s philosophy about serving others. He escorted retired Navy Captain Kaufman, […]