Saturday marked the 70th anniversary of one of the worst naval disasters in U.S. history. But for the people of Lawn and St. Lawrence it also marked the stubborn resilience and courage of the people of the two towns, who worked tirelessly to save the lives of American naval officers and crew aboard two ships, the USS Truxtun and the USS Pollux after they were ran aground against the rocks in Lawn Point and Chambers Cove Feb. 18, 1942.
There were 186 survivors out of the 203 people on board. The two ships were lost.
The two communities remembered the disaster and the bravery that followed Saturday with Truxtun survivor Lanier Phillips, 88, and several relatives of the survivors. Two of the original rescuers,Gus Etchegary and Levi Pike, also took part in events.
A multi-denominational memorial service was followed by wreath-laying ceremony at the cliffs of Chambers Cove.
A play “Colorblind” written about Philips and performed by the Blues Players of St.Lawrence Academy concluded the commemoration.