Walter & Betty Porter Burial at Sea Ceremony by U.S. Navy: Veterans Day Posting

Walter J. Porter
23 years old
Fort Ord Military Base
May 1951
     There are so many individuals who have served our Military of the U.S.A.  They have fought for our freedoms and liberties. They have protected and served us.  Today is Veterans day and there is no way I could do justice in presenting a post that is so worthy of what they have done for us.
     I decided today I would take the time and present my parents burials at Sea Ceremony.  As my father served in the Army, and had requested that upon his death that he (have his ashes) buried/scattered at sea.  My mother had not made any particular wishes. She basically left it up to me. I adored my mother and I knew how much she loved her husband, so I knew the right thing to do was to have a burial at Sea as that would be her final resting place along with my father.
     My parents also loved cruises, so what a way to spend eternity on the wide open seas.

My father Walter Porter was born on September 11, 1929 and he died August 7, 2001.  My mother and I were mourning the death of my father and we had decided to celebrate his life and do something special on his birthday.  Well, when I woke up on 9/11/2001, the plans of doing something special changed.  My father had been dead for a month, and what happened next shocked the World, and especially the United States.  We were all in shock from the terrorist attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the great loss of life.  America began to mourn.  I felt, at that moment that I had no right to mourn over my father’s death because our Country was in turmoil, anger, and sadness.  What right did I have to only think about my father and mother and our family?  It was really no time for that; to think only about our own grief.

Our Military went out and did what had to be done.  The first responders answered the call and many lost their lives, like many of our military soldiers.  This was a time in history when Americans UNITED, and even with that there was a lashing out at the wrong people.  The pointing of fingers, of which was not righteous. Life had changed on 9-11!

My mother received a call that my father’s burial at Sea was going to be postponed for another month as it was not the right time for a ceremony when our country was in turmoil.

Then October 24, 2001 arrived and my father was given the Burial at Sea that he had wanted.  My mother Betty was sent a letter from the Department of the Navy after the ceremony.

Letter to Betty Porter, wife of Walter Porter
USS RENTZ
Description of Ceremony

The ceremony for my father was video taped.  I hope to one day have it copied on DVD.

Burial location of Walter J. Porter
and Betty Mae Porter
Betty Porter was born on November 17, 1926 and died on January 5, 2004.
When my mother was to be given to the Sea, I received the letter below.
Letter to Daughter re: Betty Porter
USS BENFOLD
Description of Ceremony
A couple of photos of Betty Porter’s Burial at Sea Ceremony
Betty Porter’s Ceremony at Sea #1
Betty Porter’s Ceremony at Sea #2

Sometimes I wish I could go to a cemetery and place flowers at my parents headstones.  I was sad that I could not memorialize at the location that they were resting.  The consolation is that my parents are in the wide open sea.  They loved to travel and they loved the idea of going places they have never been.  So now every year, I go to the ocean in San Diego on their birthday’s and drop flowers into the ocean.

Walter & Betty Porter
Vacationing on one of their many cruises together

Walter J. Porter does have two San Diego City Schools named after him and this is a testament of how important education was to him.  So when I think of the fact that he has no headstone…I laugh and say, “Hey Dad, You have two schools in your name!”  What more can you ask for to be remembered? 

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