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Dear Editor:

The "Remember the 'Scorpion'" article was timely and well told!

Young U.S. Navy officer Laughton Smith and the crew of a nuclear attack submarine are being remembered 52 years later. The turbulent year 1968 obscured the boat's fate as did 40 years of secrecy until 2007.

The article included great first-person memories by Jim Ayers, close high school friend and fellow U.S. Naval Academy graduate and fellow submariner. He also remembered two other high school friends' deaths (1968-69). (Air Force fighter pilots Joe Hemmel and Bob Davenport)

For Veteran's Day then we gave a tribute to Laughton with a brick in his honor. Laughton's brother and sister were in attendance that day as was Jim Ayers, who spoke before the dedication ceremonies. (News Tribune, Nov. 7, 2007).

In summary, today the tumult of 2020 is in many ways similar to 1968. As the Air Force B-2 flew over Jefferson City's hospitals in salute to their staffs and first responders selfless service, I thought again of Laughton and the others from JC's finest who have a asterisk on their bricks at the JC Veterans Plaza. It is an unusual Memorial Day and I hope others who knew their Gold Star families will pay their respects this weekend also.

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