Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley crew visits Atka, Alaska

Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley crew members place grave markers at a cemetery in Atka, Alaska, April 21, 2015. The hand-made crosses replaced those planted by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Storis during community outreach in 2006. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley crew members place grave markers at a cemetery in Atka, Alaska, April 21, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley crewmembers installed grave markers in Atka, Alaska, Tuesday.

The 20 hand-made crosses replaced those that were mounted in 2006 by the crew of the now-decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter Storis.

The Alex Haley crew coordinated the task with Atka’s community leaders, then delivered the crosses via an embarked MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and sent a work party of 13 into the town on the cutter’s boat. The crew spent the day in the community’s cemetery planting the freshly painted markers in place of their weathered counterparts.

“We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to make this unique trip and interact with the people of Atka,” said Cmdr. Stephen White, commanding officer of the Alex Haley, who was part of the work party. “It was an honor to be invited into the community to maintain the work of the Storis’ crew.”

Before leaving town, White visited the schoolhouse to meet the children of Atka and join them for an ice cream social. He expressed to them the importance of their education and his appreciation for their hard work.

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