Senior Chief Terell Horne III, who was killed in the line of duty last month, was memorialized Saturday, December 8, at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach, where more than 1,000 people gathered to honor Horne's life and service to the Coast Guard.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp both spoke at the memorial service, praising Horne's dedication to his country.
"Senior Chief Horne lived the Coast Guard ethos and was an example to all. We will forever remember him for his selfless leadership and his courage," the Commandant said. "He made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his shipmates and the nation, just as he served others throughout his 14 year career. Senior Chief Horne's legacy as a shipmate, leader, and Coast Guardsman is now indelibly stamped in our service history. This nation is more secure because of him."
Senior Chief Horne was a true leader for the crew of the HALIBUT, the cutter he was most recently assigned to. He suffered a traumatic head injury during a marine law enforcement operation. Horne served as the ship's executive petty officer, and was an inspiration for younger crew members, as well as a top notch Shipmate, according to Horne's commanding officer, LT Stewert Sibert.
Horne was posthumously advanced to the rank of senior chief following his death.
Senior Chief Horne is survived by his wife Rachel, and two sons, Kade and Miller.
Coast Guard Foundation Director and retired Chief Petty Officer, R. Angelo Cleffi, represented the Foundation at Senior Chief's Horne memorial service. Chief Cleffi said that the ceremony was "humbling, heartfelt and professional."
Chief Cleffi said that the Foundation's support — which included providing food and refreshments following Saturday's memorial service, as well as a private dinner for Horne's family, friends and crewmates earlier in the week — was greatly appreciated.
The private dinner was "truly significant and helpful," according to Chief Cleffi, since it allowed Senior Chief Horne's closest friends and relatives a chance to honor, remember and grieve the man.
"He made sure his crew was safe, even risking life and limb," Chief Cleffi said. "Senior Chief Horne was an elite Coast Guardsman, an elite guardian."
As soon as Chief Cleffi arrived for the memorial service, he knew he was there to honor a great man. Near the entrance of the Los Angeles-Long Beach Coast Guard Base were two L.A. Fire Department hook and ladder trucks with a gigantic American flag stretched between them.
"Everyone could see, right away, that this was something meaningful, something honorable. They don't do that for just anyone."
The outpouring of support and recollections of what a great man Senior Chief Horne was can be seen in the comments section of this story.
To donate to programs that will help the Horne family, follow this link.