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tv   USS Indianapolis Gold Medal Ceremony  CSPAN  August 10, 2020 8:01pm-8:40pm EDT

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hello, as speaker of the house, it's my pleasure to welcome you to the celebration of patriotism, 75 years to the day towards the end of world war ii. today, despite the unprecedented circumstances, we come together as the united states of congress bestows its highest honor, the congressional gold medal on the crewmen of the uss
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indianapolis. thank you to the entire indiana delegation, indiana governor eric whole come, and secretary of the navy breath way, for your efforts to make this even possible. thank you as well to leader mitch mcconnell, leader chuck schumer and leader kevin mccarthy to helping to ensure that this virtual ceremony would be such a wonderful success. and thank you to all of those joining online to recognize and pay tribute to the american heroes of the uss indianapolis. ladies and gentlemen, at this time, please stand as you are able for the presentation of the colors and the national anthem.
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> let us pray.
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dear lord, we ask your blessing today for the survivors of the uss indianapolis, their family members, friends and members of the legacy organization at this virtual reunion. ever since the first reunion on july 30th and 31st of 1960, which was organized by giles mccoy and 15 survivors, these men have gathered to remember and to give thanks. they know that it's important to reflect on the sacrifice of men lost at sea, and the lifelong hardships of the men that survived and continue to
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grieve for their shipmates. they cherish their memories. over the years, the survivors in the families have built tremendous bonds of friendship and mutual support. the men have sailed on the uss indianapolis, one of only two heavy cruisers were awarded ten battle stars for their bravery, and their final mission played a vital role in ending the war. lord, we are blessed to be able to honor the survivors that are still living, continue to bless them and their families and all the friends and supporters who keep alive the memories of the brave men of the uss indianapolis. we ask all of this in your holy name. a man. >> good day, ladies into vermin. i am sam cox, director of the naval history and heritage command. we commemorate the valor and
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sacrifice of the 1195 sailors who served aboard the indianapolis when she was torpedoed and sunk by a japanese submarine in the last days of the war on 30 july, 1945. 316 of the crew survived the 12 minutes that it took the ship to sink and the horrific four days adrift in the open ocean afterwards. it's also important to note that the core of the indianapolis were heroes long before she was hit by japanese torpedoes. the ship served in ten major battles throughout the pacific war, from the first u.s. navy's offensive actions in new guinea in the hot tropics to the frigid waters of the illusions. during most of the war, she served as a flagship for admiral raymond, who led the u.s. navy's offensive across the central pacific from the guilford islands, the marionettes, the caroline's through nii-jima.
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frequently bombarding enemy positions and they shot down at okinawa, finally hit and badly damaged by a kamikaze suicide plane. following repair, she was given the top secret mission of giving the first atomic bomb from the united states to the 29 bomber base on tinny island. she did so in record time. only a few days later, she had her encounter with i-58 in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. there were numerous lessons learned from this tragedy that have been incorporated into operational procedures of the u.s. navy even today. if there is a lesson from the survivors, it is never, ever give up. thank you. >> on behalf of every sailor, marine and civilian in the department of the navy serving today, i send our thanks and
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appreciation to the brave veterans of uss indianapolis and to your families for your record of service and sacrifice. from pearl harbor to the final days of world war ii, you and your shipmates, as part of our greatest generation, completed mission after mission, taking the fight the enemy and changing the course of history. in the waning days of the war, you didn't stop when a kamikaze drop your ship. you made it safely back to port and return quickly to see to carry out one of the greatest missions of world war ii. you did not know the cargo you carried from san francisco to the marijuana silence in july of 1945 with change the course of the war. you just knew that you had to make it through dangerous waters. you set speed records, kept watch and deliver the atomic bomb. if it wasn't for you and your shipmates, history may have turned out very differently. we, all americans, oh you a debt of gratitude. we must always hold close to
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our hearts those who died when your ship was torpedoed on your return, and those who perished over the four days that followed, the darkest chapter of a naval history. we cannot forget the astounding bravery of those who love to tell the tale, and we can never relinquish the important lessons our navy learned from that tragedy. each of you added significantly to the remarkable story of our navy, to our traditions and to our ethos of service above self. and your service, your sacrifice embodied the core tenants of our navy: on our, courage and commitment. so, do you, the crew of uss indianapolis, we the navy salute you out of respect and admiration and we thank you for your service to make a stand a little taller and prouder for all that you did. bravo zulu shipmates, and may god bless you and your families
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always. >> it's my great honor on this 75th anniversary to salute the crew of the uss indianapolis and recognize your valiant service. you and your shipmates answered the call at a critical time in the life of our nation. indeed, the world. and your courage and devotion to duty in the face of danger preserved freedom, both here on the homeland and around the globe. your bravery set an enduring example and influenced generations of service members. as a navy man, i could not be more proud and your legacy is carried forward today, that sales under the same stars and stripes, and by its crew who
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now follow and you are footsteps, your heroes in other sense of the world and totally deserving recipients of today's gold medal. so on behalf of 6.7 million hoosiers, thank you to you and your families for your service and your lifetime of sacrifice for. >> tanks to all of you who are here to honor our heroes. i am joe donnelly, the former senator from indianapolis i'm so proud to be sponsor of this legislation, along with my colleague so that the crew of the uss indianapolis would get this long deserving congressional gold medal. our ship is the stuff of
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legends. it was the recipient of ten battle stars, yes, that's right. ten battle stars for its service in world war ii. it was the ship changed to world war ii, and the heart of the indie and this gold medal in the men that served on her, they were skippered by captain mcvay and it fought to defend our country, put our lives on the line. they never gave up against incredible odds, and they showed incredible grit and determination and patriotism. those of us who are from indiana and indianapolis are incredibly proud that the crew and the ship carried the name of our capital city into battle with such amazing success and
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determination. the name u.s. indianapolis is still today sailing the seas and serves our nation. that cruise goal that is on the sees every day today is to try to live up to the example and the determination and the legend that was set by indianapolis and the crew, to our crew, thank you to a grateful nation for your courage, your service and your bravery while fighting to defend the united states. this gold medal as well deserved, and only scratches the surface of how much we love you, care about you and are grateful for your amazing service to our country. may god bless the crew of the uss indianapolis. may god bless the state of
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indianapolis, and may god bless the united states of america. >> the uss indianapolis, named after the state capital of indiana and her crews showed forge and fortitude, and commissioned in 1930 to the u.s. indianapolis was active in the pacific theater of world war ii and saw action of the major battles fought in the u.s., she played an important role in securing victory over japan. enriched uranium in part for the device known as little boy, but to bring japan to surrender and save the lives of countless american soldiers. sadly, shortly after making its delivery, the uss indianapolis was hit and sunk by a japanese torpedo on july 30th, 1945. about 300 men were trapped inside of the ship and lost
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their lives in the ship went down. 900 men escaped from the ship and went into the water, or hundreds died over the next four days before help arrived. of the 1196 men who served aboard the uss indianapolis, only 316 survived. this tells a tale of fear and heroism, but i'm honored to be part of the entire crew, and awarding the congressional gold medal and recognizing the sacrifice they made to ensure our freedom. >> hello, hello, hello, this congressman andre carson. i'm pleased to take part in the ceremony honoring the veterans of the uss indianapolis and their families. i want to thank our leaders, and my other fellow members of congress, governor whole come,
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secondary birth weight and general goodwin, and everyone who has helped make the ceremony so special. 75 years after the sinking, the values described by the brave americans continue to guide us, and these tough times are very important than ever. we are internally grateful to the people on this ship, and we could never fully repay the debt we owe them, they endure unspeakable hardship and tragedy, on the name of service to our country and the defense of freedom. we are the hundreds that died, as well as their loved ones who still grief this day. we think the survivors, particularly those who are still with us, who have spent their lives making sure we never forgot the heroism, that was displayed that day. it is my hope that this congressional gold medal helped future generations of americans also remember the sacrifices of the greatest generation. in the meantime, we still have
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more work ahead of us to properly honor them by ensuring the freedoms they fought for our protected. so let's come together as americans to continue this important journey toward justice for all. thank you. >> hello, i'm senator todd young. as the marine, i want to extend my sincerest gratitude to the crew of the uss indianapolis, surviving one of the most horrifying attacks in naval history. what do you experienced and it was never be forgotten. you and your shipmates were on a mission to save the world, and you helped put an end to the unspeakable evil of world war ii. in honor of your bravery, i worked with joe donnelly to pass legislation awarding the
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congressional gold medal to the crew of the uss indianapolis. this is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the congress, and it's an honor to finally be able to help present this metal in honor of your service and sacrifice. on behalf of whose ears and all americans, i say thank you. your bravery and courage continues to inspire, and i wish you all fair winds and following sees, god bless. ♪ ♪ ♪ it's my privilege
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to join my colleague from the house and senate to present the congressional gold medal. on july of 1945, after delivering in secret, the 1200 sailors of the indianapolis embarked on the 1300 and mile voyage from guam without escort of anti submarine vessels. in the early hours of july 30th, the indianapolis was sunk by a japanese submarine. in 12 minutes, 300 sailors went down with the ship, remaining 900 were stranded at sea for four days without water or food, suffering from dehydration, exposure salt water poisoning and shark attacks before the navy found them. by the time the rescue came, only 316 have survived. it was the single greatest loss of life from one ship in u.s. naval history and the most tragic naval disasters, so we present the congressional gold
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medal to the eight surviving crew members of the indianapolis, it is a tribute intended for all 1200 sailors. the final tragic hours in no way diminish the sacrifice made by those 900 men and boys 75 years ago after world away. as we say thank, you a grateful nation pledges to never forget what happened to the uss indianapolis, and you always remember the american patriots who were lost in that terrible attack. i wish we could observe this moment in person to remember our fallen saver sailors, but wherever you will maybe, i offer you sailors and from members of all remember, my greatest measure of things. may you all say thank you, and god bless all of you and your loved ones. >> at the commissioner of the uss indianapolis and of ember 1932, they knew they were looking for a mighty ship, but
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they had no idea they would carry a war ending superweapon across the u.s.. a decade later, they knew the navy would take perseverance, but could not have imagined how that would unfold on july 30th, 1944. throughout the second world war, american sons made many names into permanent synonyms and they remain in a certain class of their own. they served as a flagship and are intense battle scars all across the pacific theater. already, our crew had secretly put gears in motion to end the war. but their fight did not end with the worst of the enemy, they also had to face the worst of mother nature.
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in an instant, her crew went from fighting the battles without, to fighting the battles within. they fought to stay alert, to look after each other, literally to hold on for dear life. our nation lost hundreds of people, just last month we lost one more, tony can't. we were given the ultimate sacrifice, those who survive share our symone example with us for decades more, that's a true legacy of the indianapolis, who was secure, we turn the tide of the core. your congress and your nation say thank you.
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>> 75 years ago, in the final months of world war ii, the crew of the uss indianapolis departed hunters point naval shipyard on a top secret mission. their record setting voyage change the course of history and enable the united states to finally bring an end two years of brutal conflict. the uss indianapolis is 1195 crew members worthy of our greatest extreme, it's important to acknowledge that further tragedy that followed the sinking of the u.s. has indianapolis in the early morning hours of july 30th, 1945. that harrowing five night four-day ordeal stole the lives of 879 brave ceos, and
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submitted the uss indianapolis forever in the hearts of the people. 316 dedicated their lives to the memory of their falling contacts will be honored. sadly, we lost a cherished member of the uss indianapolis veterans community, and a constituent is mine and we mourn at this time and wish you are with us to see this historic day. today, just eight uss indianapolis veterans remain, but their commitment to telling their extraordinary story continues to motivate countless americans. and bestowing on and then the congressional medal enables
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them to take their place in the pantheon of american heroes who exceptional valor has strengthened our nation. it brings loves her to it as their service brings lester to the united states of america. on behalf of the united states congress, and a grateful nation, i'm pleased to present this congressional gold medal to the crew of the uss indianapolis in recognition of their perseverance, bravery and service. this gold medal will be proudly displayed at the indiana, and will it inspired generations of patriotic american, thank you.
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75 years ago, the indianapolis plans and the deaths of the pacific ocean when it was struck by two torpedoes. that sinking is not what a trust the indianapolis into the annals of history. what we memorialized day is the accomplishments of the crew, not the fact that they were sunk. the survivors are thinking of indianapolis struggle for
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almost five days in the water, just to survive. then, for the next five decades, they continue to fight. they did not find for recognition for themselves, they did not fight for restitution from the navy for the awful fact that they were forgotten in the water and left to die. they fought to clear their captain's name. today, the surviving crew members of the indianapolis have asked me to speak on their behalf. they pulled me into their fight in 1998 while i was still captain of the nuclear fast attacks on marines, uss indianapolis, and i was proud to join them in their fight to exonerate. their captain. >> over the years, i've come to know and admire nearly nearly 200 200 survivors.
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today as i speak these words, only eight survivors remain. they fought for over 55 years to be able to do the right thing for their captain. but in the end, i was an active calmness that exonerated them. he made 2001, i was proud to hear the exoneration language. that year i was equally proud to help present the navy unit congregation to the crew of the in and indianapolis. took over 55 years for the navy to officially acknowledge the ships accomplishments. but it got down. and today it's congress again the makes things right. my honoring the crew that has
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done so much for this country. this congressional gold medal does not only recognize the survivors, it recognizes all of these crew members, while survivors and lost seeing. it recognizes a fighting ships crew, when it helped and the most terrible war this world has ever known. it recognizes among the best of the united states navy has to offer. this honor is not sought by them, they did not ask congress to receive this kind recognition. it comes completely unexpected as for the rest of us, we know that it comes completely deserved. not one crew member of the indianapolis, not one, whatever described him selves as a hero. but they would all say that
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they served in a crew of heroes. i'm behalf of the entire crew of the uss indianapolis, survivors, lost a scene family members, i would like to thank congress of the united states for this great honor. i know how grateful they are and i must convey that gratitude on their behalf. thank you and god bless. >> hello my name is stewart goodwin, brigadier of united states are forced retired. we manage 25 acres of properties in downtown indianapolis that honor military service members with emphasis on whose veterans. included in these. this will be the location of the congressional gold medal. the story behind the presentation of this national award as one of these countries most historic military missions. yet the families in crew of
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this highly decorated world war ii on combat vessel of never see the gap recognition a reserve. that's why the sinking of the heavy cruiser uss indianapolis inflict in many actions, let instant death, broken bones, the crew enduring foreign half the days of strong season shark attacks. with no food and weber water,. we think most of us would agree that there are no words to adequately express that those who survive were lost at sea and their families the resistant heartfelt gratitude for what they endured so we can live free. however, there is something we can do and we're doing it with this presentation. we can take every opportunity available to tell the story, thank all those involved, and pray for their souls. this national recognition
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presented to them will present countless aged cuties to educate future generations. we want to thank this opportunity thank pelosi, and the u.s. meant for making this war possible. additionally, we would like to thank the uss indianapolis survivors organization for their decades of support to the crew and their families and to the recent organized and the annapolis legged legacy whose mission is to promote and perpetuate all those who served at the u.s. indianapolis. also thanks to the indianapolis warm moral staff who, is research staff built the uss indianapolis museum. we also want to invite you have to visit this museum to view this distinguish gold medal in the exhibit where approximately 100,000 visits will observe it annually. we hope to see a scene. thank you have you watch lectures in
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be part of the national conversation to c-span's daily washington journal program or through our social media feeds. c-span. created by americas cable television companies as a public service and brought to you by your television provider. u.s. navy veteran recalls being on the young naval of officers on the uss in-app annapolis after a shark and shark into -- surviving crew members, only 317 out of 1196 were not rescued for several days. the national world museum recorded this interview. i was born in gilbert ville, massachusetts,


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