Story Number: NNS140723-14Release Date: 7/23/2014 4:58:00 PM

By Lt. j.g. Jared Griffin, USS Bainbridge Public Affairs


NORFOLK (NNS) -- A USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) crewmember and her young son participated in a time-honored Naval ceremony held aboard the ship here July 18.

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Cindy Garza, from Laredo, Texas, had her son, Ethan Eugene Slentz, baptized in the ship's bell by Deacon Walker King from St. Pius X Catholic Church, in Norfolk.

Before the ceremony, the ship's bell was removed from the forward deckhouse, filled with holy water by King, and used as the christening bowl for the ceremony.

"This was really nice and moving," said King.

About 30 Sailors and friends attended the ceremony, including Ethan's Godparents, Nancy Garza and Evaristo Hernandez along with his grandparents, Yvonne and Ricardo Garza. The officers and crew welcomed Ethan to the Bainbridge family, and in the tradition of the U.S. Navy, his name was engraved on the inside of the bell. According to Naval history, it is in this way that an invisible tie is created between the country, the ship and its citizens.

"Thank you all for coming out and supporting us," said Garza. "It really means a lot to share this moment with my family and my shipmates."

The bell will remain with the ship while commissioned and the permanent property of the US Government and the Department of the Navy after decommissioning. U.S. Navy bells are part of the many artifacts removed from decommissioned vessels and preserved by the Naval History and Heritage Command.

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