Day of Service and Remembrance at the USS Constitution

Link Boston Homes
The U.S.S. Constitution, known as 'Old Ironsides', is the oldest fully commissioned vessel in the U.S. Navy and permanently berthed at the Charlestown Navy Yard.

The USS Constitution, the USS Constitution Museum and Boston National Historical Park will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a full day of programming as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Designated by Congress, this day honors the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks by encouraging Americans to unite in service and volunteerism throughout their community.

REMEMBRANCE

At 9 a.m., an outdoor memorial ceremony, led by USS Constitution’s Commanding Officer John Benda, will include the reading of names of those killed in the attacks. The ceremony will feature remarks by CDR Robert S. Gerosa, Jr., USN (Ret.). CDR Gerosa served as commanding officer of USS Constitution from 2015 to 2017. At the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Gerosa was the Combat Information Center officer and assistant operations officer on board the guided missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61). Ramage was the first ship in the Atlantic Fleet to sortie off the East Coast of the United States to provide extended radar coverage for Washington, D.C. and New York City. USS Constitution crew will fire a salute and play taps to commemorate key moments from the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

At 11 a.m., USS Constitution is scheduled to go underway into Boston Harbor with Medal of Honor recipients. The public is invited to give a patriotic send off from Pier 1 in the Charlestown Navy Yard or view the Ship underway from the Boston Harborwalk or Castle Island.

Other highlights of the underway will include a 21-gun salute toward Fort Independence on Castle Island at approximately 12:30 p.m. followed by a 17-gun salute at approximately 1:30 p.m. toward U.S. Coast Guard Base Boston, the former site of USS Constitution’s launch on Oct. 21, 1797. The Ship will reopen for free public exploration from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

SERVICE

All visitors to the Museum that day will have a chance to give back to local veterans by writing a thank you card and packaging it with a lifesaving paracord bracelet. The bracelets and letters will be distributed to Vietnam War veterans in New England by Operation Gratitude. This is an outdoor drop-in activity and people of all ages are welcome to participate. The Museum will be open extended hours from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 11. 

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the public is invited to volunteer with the USS Constitution Museum and Operation Gratitude to help assemble 1,000 recruit graduate care pouches for new sailors and Coast Guardsmen. The care pouches will include personal hygiene items, snacks, a paracord bracelet and a handwritten thank you note.

Volunteers can sign up for one of two three-hour shifts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Advanced registration is required at https://www.operationgratitude.com/uss-constitution-museum.

“These care packages are one small way we can remind new service members and veterans that Americans across the nation, and right here in Boston, appreciate their service and sacrifice,” said USS Constitution Museum President & CEO Anne Grimes Rand. “We’re honored to partner with Operation Gratitude to show our support to those who bravely serve our country.”

For more information about these activities or to register to volunteer, visit https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/events/september-11.