The German ship that honored Americans over losses to terrorists-Truth!
The German Ship that gave Moving Tribute to Americans over Our Losses to Terrorists-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
This email is said to be from a Naval officer to his family. It tells of an event that occurred shortly after the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. According to the Naval officer's email, his ship, the USS Winston Churchill, was at an undisclosed location at sea when they got a call from a German military ship named the Lutjens. The crews from the American and German ships had spent some time together while both were moored in Plymouth, England. The Lutjens asked to come alongside of the Winston Churchill, and as it did, the Americans saw a moving and spectacular site. The German ship was flying an American flag at half-mast. Then they saw that the entire crew of the German ship were "manning the rails" in their dress blues. There was also a sign on the side of the German ship that said, "We Stand By You." The email says there wasn't a dry eye among the Americans.
This moving display of friendship between two military vessels is reported to be true. The story was originally told in detail along with pictures of the event on the web page for the USS Winston Churchill. CLICK HERE for the pictures.
The USS Winston Churchill is a U.S. destroyer.
The FGS Lutjens is a German destroyer.
According to the U.S. Navy's explanation of "Naval Traditions, Customs, & Etiquette," the practice of "manning the rails" sees crew members stationed along the rails of a ship when dignitaries are honored such as a President or head of state..
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
This is a moving email from a naval officer at sea. For those of us who are wondering what will happen next, this comes from an even more poignant perspective. Keep the military present in your hearts and minds as they await their duties.
If you haven’t served aboard ship — “manning the rail” is a shipboard ceremony reserved for only high ranking dignitaries, such as Heads of State.
This is an e-mail from an Ensign stationed aboard the USS WINSTON CHURCHILL.
Dear Dad, Well, we are still out at sea, with little direction as to what our next priority is. The remainder of our port visits, which were to be centered around max liberty and goodwill to the United Kingdom, have all but been cancelled. We have spent every day since the attacks going back and forth within imaginary boxes drawn in the ocean, standing high-security watches, and trying to make the best of our time. It hasn’t been that fun I must confess, and to be even more honest, a lot of people are frustrated at the fact that they either can’t be home, or we don’t have more direction right now. We have seen the articles and the photographs, and they are sickening. Being isolated as we are, I don’t think we appreciate the full scope of what is happening back home, but we are definitely feeling the effects.
About two hours ago the junior officers were called to the bridge to conduct Shiphandling drills. We were about to do a man overboard when we got a call from the LUTJENS(D185), a German warship that was moored ahead of us on the pier in Plymouth, England. While in port, the WINSTON S CHURCHILL and the LUTJENS got together for a sports day/cookout on our fantail, and we made some pretty good friends. Now at sea they called over on bridge-to-bridge, requesting to pass us close up on our port side, to say good-bye. We prepared to render them honors on the bridgewing, and the Captain told the crew to come topside to wish them farewell.
As they were making their approach, our Conning Officer announced through her binoculars that they were flying an American flag. As they came even closer, we saw that it was flying at half-mast. The bridgewing was crowded with people as the Boatswain’s Mate blew two whistles- Attention to Port- the ship came up alongside and we saw that the entire crew of the German ship were manning the rails, in their dress blues. They had made up a sign that was displayed on the side that read “We Stand By You.” Needless to say there was not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed alongside us for a few minutes and we cut our salutes.
It was probably the most powerful thing I have seen in my entire life and more than a few of us fought to retain our composure. It was a beautiful day outside today. We are no longer at liberty to divulge over unsecure e-mail our location, but we could not have asked for a finer day at sea. The German Navy did an incredible thing for this crew, and it has truly been the highest point in the days since the attacks. It’s amazing to think that only a half-century ago things were quite different, and to see the unity that is being demonstrated throughout Europe and the world makes us all feel proud to be out here doing our job.
After the ship pulled away and we prepared to begin our man overboard drills the Officer of the Deck turned to me and said “I’m staying Navy.”
I’ll write you when I know more about when I’ll be home, but for now, this is probably the best news that I could send you. Love you guys.