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The Ironclad Endures

3 minutes

(Describer) Under a round logo of a wave, title: Ocean Today. Horses pulls wagons with coffins on them.

(male narrator) A military funeral is a time-honored tradition. Today, two sailors are laid to rest, but these servicemen did not pass in a recent conflict. They served over 150 years ago, during the Civil War. The sailors being buried at Arlington National Cemetery

were crew members on the USS Monitor, a Union ironclad warship. Rough seas caused the ship to sink on December 31st, 1862. Sixteen lives were lost.

(Describer) An illustration of the sinking fades.

The remains of these two sailors were discovered on the ship's turret, raised from her wreck site, off the coast of North Carolina, in 2002. The recovery of the sailors' remains from the ship had great significance for the U.S. military. The importance of recovering fallen warriors from past conflicts is to let the nation know, the international community know, that the United States has made a commitment, that once we put someone in harm's way, and they're missing or killed in action, we have resolved to return them back to their families.

(Describer) ...Sergeant-Major DaNang McKay.

(narrator) Once pulled from the ocean, remains were taken to U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii for identification. Researchers cleaned and preserved the skulls, clay models were crafted, and computer imaging helped reconstruct what the sailors may have looked like. Despite being able to narrow down who these sailors may have been, an exact identification could not be determined. At the March, 2013, funeral,

descendents of the Monitor's crew were present, as was Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, and NOAA acting administrator, Kathryn Sullivan. This public gathering paid respect to the sailors and acknowledged their role in American history. It gives the family closure and gives the war fighter a sense of comfort to know that no matter what, they're not forgotten, they will return home with honor.

(narrator) This burial ended a long journey

for the crew on the USS Monitor, and showed that despite being underwater over a century, they were not forgotten.

(Describer) Title: Narrator Ken Eaken. Accessibility provided by the US Department of Education.

Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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In 1973, remains of the USS Monitor were found on the seafloor 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Soon after, the wreck site was designated as the country’s first national marine sanctuary. This status allows officials to protect the wreck from further damage and deterioration and to manage recovery operations of artifacts.

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