NYPD BATTLE ENSIGN RETURNS
The flag of the New York City Police Department was
flying as a battle ensign on the USS Ramage DDG-61 as she sailed into New York Harbor during Fleet Week. The Ramage was the first ship to leave its home port in Norfolk t defend the nation's capitol after the
September 11th attacks.
Lieutenant Robert Gerosa, USN was serving on board the Ramage and contacted NY COP ONLINE MAGAZINE via the Internet. On behalf of the officers and crew of the Ramage, he requested the
official flag of the NYPD to fly as a "battle ensign". He didn't know how to obtain the flag and asked for help in obtaining the flag. The NYPD and the Patrolman's
Benevolent Association arranged to obtain two flags. Both flags were rushed to Norfolk, Virginia before the Ramage sailed for fleet operations in the Middle
East. The flags were flown during a six-month period in honor of the men and women of the NYPD.
The flag was officially returned to the NYPD in a ceremony
on the fantail of the USS Ramage.
The Commanding Officer, Commander Randall Hendrickson, USN presented the flag to Assistant Chief Anthony Marra, Commanding Officer, Patrol Borough Staten Island and
Edward D. Reuss, Captain, NYPD (retired). During the presentation, Cmdr. Hendrickson told the assembly that one of the flags was lost at sea when high winds tore it from the
mast. The second flag was safeguarded and displayed during special occasions. Each member of the crew had signed the battle ensign.
Police Officer Richard Rodriguez, Financial Secretary, and Officer George Strype, Trustee of the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, NYPD, were presented with
souvenirs during the ceremony. They had been instrumental in ensuring that the flags were delivered to the Ramage.
Pr ior to the ceremony, we had the opportunity
to speak with Comdr. Hendrickson. The Commander related that on the day of the attack on the Pentagon building in Washington, DC, he was assigned to the Pentagon and his office was at the point of
impact where the aircraft that struck the building. Had he been at his desk, survival would have been unlikely. A few months later, he took command of the USS Ramage
and was informed of the NYPD battle ensign on board.
The NYPD Museum, located at 100 Old Slip, Manhattan will be the location where the flag will be placed on exhibit for the public and members of the NYPD.
Copyright © 2002 Edward D. Reuss
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