Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ferries & British Cemetery Ceremony

Many of our readers may have already learned that ferry service across Hatteras Inlet has been hampered for several days because of shoaling in the inlet. It is often impossible to operate the ferries at times of low tide. If you will be traveling to or from Ocracoke we recommend that you contact the NCDOT Ferry Division for the latest information. You might also consider using the Swan Quarter ferry (but be sure to secure a reservation).

We understand that a dredge will be stationed at Hatteras Inlet soon. Once the channel is deepened normal ferry service will resume. We will let you know when that happens.

Rumors had been circulating that tomorrow's British Cemetery Ceremony will be cancelled because of the problems at Hatteras Inlet. This is NOT the case. The Coast Guard may not be in attendance, but as one of my neighbors put it, Ocracokers have been organizing and leading the ceremony since 1942. There is no reason to cancel it. With or without the participation of the Coast Guard or any other agency, the Ocracoke community will see that the ceremony takes place. We haven't lived on this island for so many generations without learning how to take care of ourselves.

We hope to see you there.


  1. Anonymous6:46 AM

    There was never a doubt in my mind!

  2. Anonymous11:35 AM

    Outstanding observation, Philip.

  3. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Looking forward to hearing anything you can share about the ceremony and/or the participants.

  4. Tom Cunningham (the son of Sub-Lt Thomas Cunningham who was killed when the Bedfordshire was torpedoed) was in attendance at the British Cemetery ceremony. He spoke of the many men, like his father, who died protecting our shores. Unlike most of the others who lost their lives at sea, his father's body was recovered and laid to rest in a small cemetery which has been tended and maintained for 70 years. Tom expressed his appreciation, both publicly and privately, for the care and attention Ocracoke islanders have given to his father's gravesite.

    Representatives of the US Navy, US Coast Guard, Canadian Navy, & British Royal Navy, and a German military officer (from the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation)were in attendance. Several speeches mentioned past hostilities (e.g. the War of 1812 that pitted Great Britain against the US, and, of course, WWII that engaged the US, Canada, and the UK in war with Germany & Japan). The transformation of enemies into friends was duly noted. I thought the German officer's presentation would be the most difficult. Everyone I spoke with afterwards agreed that his speech was moving. Without downplaying the "tyranny" of Nazi Germany, he spoke eloquently of the partnership his country now has with other nations in promoting world peace and democracy. He also acknowledged that young men who fought on both sides of the conflict were very often simply serving their country as they were called upon to do.

  5. Anonymous9:07 AM

    Very interesting update. Thanks so much for your time.