PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Coast Guard crew conducted a wreath-laying ceremony Dec. 30 in the Atlantic Ocean near Hatteras, N.C., at the wreckage site of the USS Monitor, the first ironclad warship commissioned by the Navy during the Civil War.
The ceremony aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Wilmington, N.C., honored the ironclad's legacy and the 16 men who lost their lives 150 years ago.
"I was proud to be able to pay tribute to such a historic ship and honor the sacrifice of her crew," said Ens. Myles McCarthy, the assistant navigator aboard the Diligence.
The original Monitor sank Dec. 31, 1862, at 1:30 a.m. in heavy seas while being towed by the USS Rhode Island.
"The Monitor is one of the most significant ships in U.S. history," said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Saunders, the deputy chief of the enforcement branch at the Coast Guard's 5th District. "It revolutionized Naval architecture and warfare. It was honored and revered by both Union and Confederate descendants. The sailors who served on the Monitor displayed legendary bravery, and it is a reminder to all who work on the sea that nature can be ferocious."