On Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009, AG2 Heather M. Pickett, stationed at the Naval Aviation Detachment, Sembach, Germany, re-enlisted at the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in France.
The cemetery is a moving reminder of the sacrifices made by American soldiers during World War II, and served as a fitting backdrop for a sailor whose family has served the Navy for generations.
"I am honored to re-enlist at the final resting place for those who have gone before us, and I'll continue to strive in my naval career to give them honor," AG2 Pickett said of her re-enlistment.
SWORN TO SERVE — AG2 Heather M. Pickett was sworn in at her re-enlistment ceremony at the American Cemetery and Memorial in France. Also pictured is Master Chief Horace Thompson who officiated the re-enlistment.
The cemetery, located approximately 65 miles from Sembach, is the final resting place for 10,489 American soldiers, more than any other WWII cemetery in Europe.
The majority of those interred are from the U.S Army's Third and Seventh Infantries, who pushed themselves against Hitler's fortified Siegfried Line during the winter of 1944-1945. The breach of the German defenses was an integral part of the European campaign and directly contributed to the success of the Allied Forces.
While the cemetery hosts many events, including a Memorial Day ceremony with Navy, Air Force, and Army formations, this was the first re-enlistment for the Director, retired Master Chief Electrician's Mate Horace Thompson. "As my first re-enlistment, I think it was very nice," Thompson said after the ceremony. "A lot of people say this is a sad place, but it isn't. It was a tragedy for each family who has loved one buried here, but they gave their lives to preserve our liberty. It is a necessary sacrifice, and is not something that should be considered sad."