Coast Guard remembers Officer who died in the line of duty - NBC40.net

Coast Guard remembers Petty Officer who died in the line of duty

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CAPE MAY -

It was an emotional day for the friends and family of Petty Officer Nathan Bruckenthal who was killed in the line of duty almost nine years ago.

"It's a bittersweet and a very fitting dedication."

It's been almost nine years since Patricia Bruckenthal was forced to say goodbye to her son, but she says his legacy is one that will live on.

"Nathan left living with us to come here and join this branch of the service, and we were very proud that he did that," said his mother, Patricia Bruckenthal. "So it's very nice that they have chosen to dedicate these halls to him where Nathan first became a Coast Guardsman."

On April 24, 2004 Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal was killed along side two U.S. Navy Sailors while taking part in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Exactly fourteen years after his Coast Guard graduation the Coast Guard Foundation honored his sacrifice for the red white and blue by dedicating a building in his name.

"This is honoring a member of our service that paid the ultimate sacrifice. Its part of the principal, and the principal is honoring our profession," said Commandant for the Coast Guard, Admiral Robert Papp. "And if you honor the profession you have to honor the people that serve in it."

A profession that requires those who walk the line to put the lives of others ahead of their own.

"This is a service and this is a family and these men and women who work here and live here are bigger than something themselves, and that's to protect and serve and shield our nation and its people," said Commanding Officer, Captain William Kelly.

And while he may be gone, his friends and family say that Bruckenthal died doing what he loved and that the Coast Guard will keep him alive as recruits train in Bruckenthal Hall.

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