By Iain Martin
Almighty Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.
—The Navy Hymn
As we near Memorial Day our thoughts turn to those who have fallen in the service of our country. Connecticut has a long history with the U.S. Navy dating back to 1775. It was right here in Old Saybrook that the first combat submarine, Turtle, was built for use against the British Navy. Not far up the road from Old Saybrook is the town of Groton, “Submarine Capital of the World.” Groton is the home of the Electric Boat Corporation, which has been the major contractor for submarine work for the U.S. Navy since 1889. The Naval Submarine Base New London is also located in Groton as is the Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum, home to the legendary USS Nautilus (SSN-571). On a quiet side street just off the bridge over the Thames River is the U.S. Submarine World War II Veteran’s Memorial. Here one can find the names of 3,617 sailors of the submarine force who died alongside the markers commemorating the names of the fifty-two boats on which they served.