MILTON — NAS Whiting Field held its third annual Bells Across America Gold Star event Sept. 27 to honor fallen service members in a ceremony at the NAS Whiting Field Chapel. Lauren Anzaldo, Fleet and Family Support Center acting director, organized the event to remember and support Gold Star family members who have lost loved ones in service to their country.

The ceremony recognized fallen service members from all branches of the military who lost their lives while serving on active duty. Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Kirby read aloud 60 service members’ names with a bell tolling for each lost service member.

"The greatest love is to lay down your life for your friends," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Griggs, Chaplain, NAS Whiting Field, in his invocation remarks, symbolizing the ultimate sacrifice these service members made during their military service.

Cmdr. Jim Brownlee, Executive Officer, NAS Whiting Field, emphasized the importance of not only remembering the service member lost, but also recognizing the family members who sacrificed so much for our nation.

Bells Across America is a nation-wide event sponsored by the United States Navy Gold Star Program. The program is a comprehensive Navy Survivor assistance program designed for families of service members who died while on active duty. The program was launched on Oct. 1, 2014 and provides a level of long-term assistance and support not previously available. The mission of the Navy Gold Star Program is to deliver survivor assistance programs and services.

For additional information on the Survivor’s Link newsletter, visit www.navygoldstar.com/additional-resources/navy-gold-star-newsletter. For more information about NAS Whiting Field’s support for the Gold Star Program, please contact the Fleet and Family Support Center at 850-623-7177.