My World Tuesday: National Submarine Memorial

The National Submarine Memorial in Groton, Connecticut, is a special place. It a modest, though dignified memorial that bears the names of all the submariners who perished while on active service during World War II. My uncle Laurence H. Isbell was one of those 3,000+ men. He was a legend. My grandmother talked about him often, and his images were plentiful in the family albums, so he never seemed to be far away.

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These flags fly over the entrance to the memorial. I suppose lost at sea is the same as missing in action.

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The memorial is shaped like the nose of a submarine putting out to sea down the Thames River in Connecticut.
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I tried to capture my uncle's name with the conning tower that is part of the memorial in the reflection. (I got a bit of me in there, too.)
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I suppose lost at sea is something like missing in action. My uncle's remains were never recovered. His mother never gave up hope that somehow, some way he might be found and he might come home. How does a mother stop believing?

My uncle and his brothers put it on the line because it was all they could do during that war. Many other folks I know have served in the military. They're the kind of people who always have your back. Case closed. And I like 'em an awful lot. If you're ever racing through Connecticut on Interstate 95, stop off in New London and take a few minutes at this memorial.

My World Tuesday

Comments

  1. So sad! I cannot imagine losing one of my children and I would think that you would be constantly scanning crowds for them. Love the memorial!

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  2. It is very impressive. I had lunch on board USS NAUTILUS when she was still in commission.

    Here is what I found out about your uncle and his ship:

    From WWII ARCHIVES FOUNDATION
    http://wwiiarchives.net/servlet/person/2982

    Isbell, Lawrence H.
    United States


    Ship's Cook Third Class
    USS Herring (SS-233)
    BORN DIED
    07/13/44

    USS Herring in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Herring_(SS-233)

    -Greg
    .

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  3. That's a beautiful tribute and so sad about your uncle. I like the way you captured his name on the plaque. My daughter's father's uncle died at sea during WW II and she photographed his name on a monument plaque in NY which was very meaningful to us.

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  4. It is so very heartbreaking to lose a loved one at any time, but wars take so many long before their time. This is a beautiful tribute to a lovely place! Thanks, Sandy!

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  5. touching post sandy. i am so appreciative to each and every man/woman who served in wwII for us...i lost an uncle in the pacific theater.

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  6. Your photos make a great tribute to your uncle. I really like the reflection in the memorial plaque.

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  7. Very evocative images and really powerful personal post to share for this theme. Such a loss or not knowing never leaves us with just manage the cope mechanism better.

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  8. It must be bad enough to have a son lost at sea, but to never recover the remains......... very sad.
    I once knew two young boys who were drowned in a boating accident at sea and the bodies were never recovered. Their poor mum.
    It would finish me.

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  9. When we travel in New England we see many such memorials. Some towns have memorials dating back to the revolution and each was there after.
    I am especially moved since many of these men died before they could start a family. It is fitting that we should remember them.

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  10. A very moving post, very sad when the remains are never recovered. Excellent photos.

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  11. Very touching post, Sandy. That's a lovely way to photograph and further memorialize your uncle's name. I just read a blog post yesterday where someone referred to "POW MIA" and now, I see it on the flag in your photo.

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  12. So sad, but such a beautiful tribute - the photos are amazing.

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  13. Fantastic tribute Sandy, one cannot fathom what these people went through, they should be honoured as such. Thanks for sharing.

    Guy
    Regina In Pictures

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  14. I'm a navy veteran but can't imagine living on a sub. This is a nice memorial to some very brave men. I'll look for it if i'm ever in the area.

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  15. Lost at sea is the same as missing in action. I read about his ship the USS HERRING. several years ago Google Earth showed the appox locations for all lost WW2 subs.I had read about the Herrinf thare as well.

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  16. A great reminder of sacrifice, so close to July 4. My father-in-law also served in WWII and is still living.

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  17. Anonymous7:19 PM

    To have been a submariner in those days is quite impressive. Even modern subs induce claustrophobia in me, and they were smaller, scarier, and less comfortable back then.

    I lost an uncle in WWII also. My grandmother never got over his death, even with his body returned for burial. Without that, it must have been so much harder for everyone.

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  18. Good Memorial and history.

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  19. Memorials bring back dignity to those who died. Thank you for sharing about this memorial for submariners.

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  20. It is nice that they have erected this memorial. God bless them all and give peace to those left behind.

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  21. It is good to have a mermorial to remember a lost one. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. I'm glad there is a memorial for those lost and not forgotten. It is sad to loose family in war.

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  23. Really good post. If I am ever in that area I will be sure to stop. This past spring I visited Gettysburg battlefield. Was a time of reflection.

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  24. Lots and lots of names there. Thanks for sharing about your uncle. It must be difficult when there are no remains. I'm glad that you are keeping his memory alive. That is very important.

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  25. Great post, Sandy. I've read a few stories about submarines and find them fascinating. I think my favorite one was Blind Man's Bluff.

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  26. What a perfectly wonderful post Sandy...it is so moving and heartfelt...I love the pictures...specially the one with bits of you included!
    hugs
    Sandi

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  27. It is a beautiful tribute to the greats. They will never ease out of the memory from their loved ones.

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  28. Excellent and very significant post, Sandy.

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  29. I really like this kind of memorials. This is a way of showing respect andn admiration who fought and stand by what t hey believe in.

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  30. I never knew about this memorial, I learn so many new things .... All the posts for My World are so unusual and interesting all around the globe.

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  31. This memorial is truly beautiful!

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  32. a beautiful tribute indeed!

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  33. Sad story, but beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us and thank you for your visit. Greetings from Croatia.

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  34. Beautiful tribute to the men who served under the sea!

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  35. A beautiful memorial and tribute to your uncle, such a sad story. But wonderful, sunny and beautiful photographs.
    Happy Tuesday!

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  36. All wars are terrible and a terrible waste of young lives no matter who, no matter where or on which side they were made to fight.Wars are not made by soldiers of sailors but by heads of state and generals.

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  37. An important memorial. It was, and still can be, a dangerous job.

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  38. First time I visit your lovely blog, thanks to My World. Your story linked so much to my own post which describes my recent visit to Omaha Beach, Normandy. I was also touched b y the memorial to those young men missing in action.

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  39. Such a beautiful tribute to brave men who sacrificed their lives to protect their country and people.

    I like how you tried to capture his name.

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  40. Beautiful memorial and beautiful photos - submariners have to be the bravest people, floating in a tin can below the sea.

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  41. I marvel at memorials, and I seem to enjoy reading names wondering about the persons behind those names. May your uncle rest in peace whereever he is.

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  42. It's an impressive monument! My father sailed in convoy with American warships and other allied vessels during the whole war. They were protected by these submarines, so this has a special meaning for me too. My father survived, but many of his colleagues were torpedoed by German or Japanese submarines.

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  43. What a great tribute and very fitting memorial this is.. and a super post as well Sandy. I enjoyed reading through the comments as well.
    Tom

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  44. I learn so much through your posts; about people, about places, about feelings... Thank you for being part of my learning experience.

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  45. Looks like a beautiful-inspiring place to visit. Love your words about those who serve-I totally agree. And yes-a mother never gives up hope.

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  46. Yes, this is a beautiful tribute leading up to the Fourth of July. Is this spot close to the Coast Guard Academy. We had a Coastie speak to our Manasas NARFE group this month. Very informative. I'll have to blog about it later this week.

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  47. Wonderful post and tribute to your uncle and those who protect and serve. Thanks!

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  48. Here for 30 years and I've never been to this memorial. Definitely on my list of places in CT to discover. Thanks, Sandy. And God bless your uncle and all those men who gave the ultimate sacrifice. We know freedom because of those brave souls.

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  49. What a beautiful memorial, but how sad your uncle was never recovered, his poor mother.

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  50. Very sad and touching entry. Your photos are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  51. A touching post to your grandfather. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos and this poignant memory.

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  52. 52 comments!!!!
    Wow you rock; and with post like today I see why.
    They are on eternal patrol, so they say.....
    Bless your family.
    Pear Harbor Salutes Groton-
    Aloha

    Comfort Spiral

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  53. I don't know how anyone can go down in a submarine. It takes a very special person.

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  54. Sandy: Wonderful post from this neat memorial.

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  55. Sandy that is a lovely tribute to your uncle and all the others who gave their lives in the service of our country. The perfect post as we approach the 4th of July weekend. The photos are beautiful, well done.

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  56. I should imagine the feeling here is very much like the one you get at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. I think that's the quietest place I've ever been in my life. Including The Wall in Washington, DC.

    A lot of my family was military -- some for a career and at least one for life. I had a great(-great?)-uncle killed on Saipan during WWII.

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  57. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. I am glad that these men are not forgotten and shall always be remembered!

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  58. Sandy this is such a lovely but sad post and you have written it with such respect and love. Thank you. As both our great countries celebrate their birthdays, it is also timely. Have a great week.
    Smiles
    P.S. I love your choice of flower for Today's Flower. I miss Queen Anne's Lace it does not grow on Haida Gwaii.

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  59. Sandy,
    what a beautiful tribute, you honor those that served well! Happy fourth!

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  60. What an excellent photo shoot, Sandy! I do drive up I 95 (on the way to visit my nephew) and I will stop off! :)

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  61. A mother never stops believing, Sandy. This is a very special tribute.

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  62. Beautiful pictures, and a moving tribute to your uncle. Beautiful post Sandy! Congrats on the Post of the day mention, you deserve it!

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  63. I'm back - Congrats on the Post of the Day mention!

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  64. Congratulations on Post of the Day mention!!
    hugs
    Sandi

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  65. perfect post for the weekend! and fitting tribute to those that gave it all. congrats on the POTD mention!

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  66. God bless you for keeping your uncle's memory alive. I have enjoyed taking a trip there with your photos! I used to live in CT but doubt I will ever get an opportunity to return.

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  67. What a wonderful post. Thank you. here from David's. Congratulations and I truly appreciated this.

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