Saturday, April 09, 2011

USS Bonhomme Richard Sailors Participant in San Diego Padres' Opening Game Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tiffany Sivels

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) participated in the San Diego Padres' Opening Game Ceremony at PETCO Park, April 5.

The Padres requested the Sailors of Bonhomme Richard to unfurl the Holiday Bowl American flag and to parade the colors before a sold-out crowd.

Among the Sailors of Bonhomme Richard who volunteered was Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuel) Airman Edrina White.

"It was a thrill and an honor to participate in an event of that magnitude," said White. "The ceremony was like nothing I've ever seen or done before."

The Holiday Bowl American flag is 100 by 50 yards and weighs approximately 800 pounds and takes more than 250 Sailors to unfurl.

The Sailors of Bonhomme Richard practiced the unfurling of the flag just hours before the ceremony.

"Unfurling a flag of that size was awesome," said White. "I was underneath during the ceremony and I was amazed at how well each Sailor was able to perform."

After the ceremony many of the Sailors stayed to cheer on the Padres in their 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

"I could not be prouder of these Sailors and how they represented Bonhomme Richard and the Navy during today's ceremony," said Capt. Jonathan L. Harnden, commanding officer USS Bonhomme Richard. "The Sailors were very professional and they did an excellent job, just like they do every day. I am honored to serve with them."

Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum celebrity recording artist, and San Diego native Jason Mraz sang the national anthem accompanied by an F-18/E jet flyover by VFA-137 Kestrels Super Hornet Squadron from Lemoore, Calif.

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