Cutter Rush crew celebrates Independence Day with residents of Nome

Cutter Rush offshore of Nome

Coast Guard Cutter Rush at anchor off Nome over Fourth of July weekend. Coast Guard Cutter Rush is patrolling the Bering Sea enforcing fisheries regulations and protecting safety of life at sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Cutter Rush.

By Ens. Brenden Kelley and Ens. Jeffrey Schoknecht,

The crew of the Honolulu-based Coast Guard Cutter Rush participated in an Independence Day celebration with the community of Nome.

On the morning of July 4 the cutter Rush anchored off the shores of the historic town of Nome. Nine crew members, led by Ens. Brenden Kelley and Ens. Jeffrey Schoknecht, were ferried ashore using the ship’s small boat to participate in the town’s 110th annual Independence Day Parade.

At the head of the procession, Rush crewmembers served as the color guard. Seaman Mitchell Hamilton and Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Aborn proudly carried the National Ensign and Alaskan State Flag as 600 spectators cheered in celebration.

Among the participants on Front Street was Jim “Doc” Fennel. He and over one hundred of his friends visit Nome every summer at an old prospecting camp to hike, pan for gold, and enjoy the rustic Alaskan outdoors. Many of them are veterans, and were especially appreciative of the Coast Guard’s contribution to this year’s event.

Cutter Rush crew celebrates Independence Day with Nome residents

Ens. Brenden Kelley, Petty Officer Third Class John Miyajima, Seaman Hilary Hubble, Petty Officer Third Class Stephen Friand, Ens. Jeff Schoknecht, and Seaman James Poole (left to right) from the Coast Guard Cutter Rush talk with Girl and Boy Scouts while visiting the Nome Fourth Of July Parade. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Cutter Rush.

After the parade, The color guard lined up with local Boy Scout Troop in front of the Dexter Saloon for the official ceremonies. Nome Harbormaster Joy Baker, sang the National Anthem the official state song Alaska’s Flag. Capt. James McCauley presented Denise Michels, the Mayor of Nome, with a commemorative plaque for the special occasion.

Several Coast Guard members, including Lt. Cmdr. Robert Mohr and Chief Warrant Officer Eric Peterson, also attended the parade to show support for both the Coast Guard and the city of Nome.

The entire parade was organized by Richard Beneville, the owner and guide of Nome Discovery Tours. Extremely enthusiastic about this year’s festivities, he commented that he was very proud of the Coast Guard’s participation.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies, Coast Guard crewmembers on liberty joined the resident of Nome in post celebration.

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