USS Hornet Museum honors WWI soldiers


Denis Perez / The Advocate

USS Hornet Museum tour guide Sydney Kennedy gives a tour of the flight deck to a group on Veterans Day Sunday. The USS Hornet Museum celebrated the 100th year since the Armistice Treaty ending WWI was signed.

By Efrain Valdez, Sports Editor

ALAMEDA — On the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the USS Hornet here played host to a range of veterans who spanned generations during the Veterans Day celebration on Sunday.
The free event, which ran from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., featured special presentations and ceremonies that included hosting former crew members of the USS Hornet.
They also honored the veterans were attended the ceremonies Sunday with a special presentation from authors Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic.
Contra Costa College Veterans’ Club members also participated in the celebrations on the naval aircraft carrier.
They enlightened attendees with The Walking Ghosts of Black History: African-American Military History, Education, and Culture Re-Enactment Group.
“We’re out here just trying to spread the word on some things that are not so widely known in military history,” mechanical engineering major and active duty Marine reserve Joseph Conway said.
“A lot of military history is romanticized, but then there are things that we don’t know about, like the Port Chicago disaster,” he said.
Educating people about those kind of events shows the value of having a day that celebrates veterans.
It also finds ways to help those veterans who are in need.
CCC student, and founder of The Walking Ghosts of Black History, Leon Watkins said, “With my organization, even though we do dispense African-American military history, we still deal with the outreach programs that support veterans with their health. We also help with school or whatever that veteran needs.”
He said that they try to focus on helping any veteran who is in need of assistance, regardless of their background.
“As a fellow service member, I am always happy to help my brothers and sisters out especially as a Marine,” CCC Veteran’s Club member Zachary Frappier said.
Frappier, who served in Okinawa from 2009 to 2013, said that it’s important for military members of all branches to help each other out.
Celebrations like this one offer a unique opportunity for current military members and veterans to interact with each other and help each other.
“Being second generation and coming from a military family on both my mother’s and father’s side, it’s an honor to be a part of this — especially on Armistice Day,” Watkins said. “I felt like I’ve always been destined to do this.”
While civilians interacted with veterans and current military members, a military band played while museum tour guides showed people around the historic aircraft carrier.
The event allowed visitors to walk freely around three levels of the carrier and to embrace the Apollo mission landing-crafts. People were also given the opportunity to see vintage military planes and the spectacular views of the Bay Area.