More than 1,000 people gathered at U.S. Coast Guard Base Los Angeles – Long Beach in San Pedro Dec. 8 to attend a memorial ceremony honoring Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, a Coast Guardsman who was killed in the line of duty Dec. 2, 2012, while carrying out law enforcement operations near Santa Cruz Island.
At 1 p.m., all in attendance stood as the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard began the ceremony by presenting the colors as the Coast Guard Band played the national anthem.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt and Coast Guard Cutter Halibut’s commanding officer Lt. Stewart Sibert addressed Horne’s family and the other attendees near the water’s edge on the southwest corner of Terminal Island.
Among the rows of dark blue Coast Guard dress uniforms were the blacks, greens and tans of other federal, state and local law enforcement officials, punctuated by the bright red of Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Napolitano spoke on the importance of the missions that Horne carried out during his life.
“The pain of Senior Chief Horne’s loss will be felt far and wide, across this base, the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, and our larger law enforcement and military family,” said Napolitano. “But in our time of grief, let us also take comfort in knowing that Senior Chief Horne devoted his life serving the most noble of causes: the protection of our nation; the defense of our freedoms and the rescue of those in distress.”
Coast Guard cutters Blacktip and Narwhal, the same type of cutter Horne was stationed aboard when he was killed, lingered nearby in the channel for the duration of the ceremony.
The Commandant spoke on what it means to be a shipmate and the legacy of Horne’s life.
“Senior Chief Horne lived the Coast Guard ethos and was an example to all. We will forever remember him for his selfless leadership and his courage,” the Commandant said. “He made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his shipmates and the nation, just as he served others throughout his 14 year career. Senior Chief Horne’s legacy as a shipmate, leader, and Coast Guardsman is now indelibly stamped in our service history. This nation is more secure because of him.”
Horne, who was the Halibut’s executive petty officer, was killed when the small boat he was aboard was struck by a panga-style vessel suspected of illicit activities.
Sibert said Horne made a profound impact on the crew of the Halibut during his year-and-a-half stationed aboard. He was not only a shipmate and big brother to the crew but was like a guardian angel. Indeed, one of Horne’s final actions was to pull a fellow crewmember out of the way before the smuggling vessel collided with the Coast Guard small boat.
The playing of taps and a three-round volley fired by the honor guard concluded the ceremony while Jayhawk, Dolphin and Hercules aircrews performed a flyover.
Horne was posthumously advanced to the rank of senior chief petty officer and his family was presented the Coast Guard Medal. He is survived by his wife, Rachel, and sons, Kade and Miller.