By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Justin A. Johndro, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
BREMERTON, Wash. – More than 100 Sailors and Marines stationed in the Pacific Northwest, and local civilians, volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity community relations project at Bataan Park, Sept. 11.
The project was held to commemorate the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001.
“I thought it was a great way to serve the community and it gave us the opportunity to observe and remember 9/11,” said Seaman Apprentice Kye Price, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). “It’s an awesome bonding moment for all military personnel and to celebrate the history and tradition of this park.”
Sailors and Marines stationed at Marine Corps Security Force Battalion on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor also participated in the project, working alongside Sailors assigned to Stennis, to clean up trash, spread mulch and build a new picnic observatory.
“This is an opportunity to give back to the community,” said Daryl Daugs, Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, Kitsap County. “We thought we’d also recognize the military for their participation in Habitat for Humanity on this day.”
Price said it was important to help clean up the park because it is a valuable asset that allows families and friends in the surrounding community come together in a clean environment.
“I’m really proud of what they’re doing,” said Timothy DeBord, a citizen of Bremerton. “I live right across the street and my six-year-old daughter loves coming to this park. What the military and volunteers have done today is just amazing, it looks great.”
Having the military involved in this community service project was just amazing to see as everyone worked and interacted well with one another, said DeBord.
The families of Bonnie Sorci and Marietta Barrios donated the land that the park was built on to remember the Death March in Bataan, Philippines during World War II.
“Having our current service members working with the Filipino community to revitalize this park and build the beautiful picnic shelter was just a good way to remember both 9/11 and what happened in Bataan,” said Daugs. “The 9/11 day of service is really recognition of the national outpouring that comes out of tragedy and coming together, united, as one.”
Habitat for Humanity is an international, non-governmental, and non-profit organization, which was founded in 1976.