By SELENE SAN FELICECAPITAL GAZETTE |MAY 17, 2020 | 5:27 AM
When Midshipman Nathalie Camacho signed up to help design her class seal, she just wanted to proudly represent the Naval Academy Class of 2020.
She helped chose images like Posiedan, a hammerhead shark, a compass and a ship’s wheel to inspire unity, strength and perseverance in her class.
“I feel like I’m kind of leaving behind a piece of me at the academy forever,” Camacho said.
“Before I share my brief remarks with you all, I would like to bring your attention to the empty seat in front of us in remembrance of our brother, David Forney, who will always be a member of the Class of 2020.”
But those symbols also inspired hope for Annapolis. The city watched midshipmen persevere through a final semester of the year rocked by coronavirus with midshipmen transitioning to digital learning and commissioning week canceled.F
That piece of Camacho was printed on flags flying around downtown Annapolis since the last week of April. It will fly atop the Maryland State House on Friday as the separate commissioning ceremonies taking place since Tuesday are released in a video.
The Naval Academy Parents Club of Central Florida makes and sells class flags each year, but this is the first year flags have been put up by Annapolis.Paid Post LEARN MORE
Judy Buddensick, who works with the Naval Academy Alumni Association and the Downtown Annapolis Partnership, said when she presented the idea of flying the flags beyond the Yard, it was an easy sell.
“The whole team of City Hall just jumped up and on it,” she said.
So Charlie and Cindy Frye gave Annapolis 100 flags on behalf of the Parents Club of Central Florida.
“With all the uncertainty of the coronavirus and everything going on, we wanted to spread good cheer, camaraderie,” Cindy Frye said.
“You all have some great spring days but sometimes your days are a little grey up there.”
Mike Ricci, spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan, said the governor’s office and the Maryland State House Trust is looking forward to raising the flag above the historic dome on Friday.
“It’ll be our honor to fly the flag,” Ricci said.
In a message to the Class of 2020 that will air as part of commissioning that day, Hogan said he is immensely proud of how the class continued their training and studies despite COVID-related obstacles.Despite coronavirus impinging on commissioning, Anne Arundel Naval Academy firsties are hopeful »
Camacho called The Capital to talk about designing the class seal as she was packing up her belongings at Bancroft Hall on Friday. She was sworn-in in the third of five private ceremonies on Saturday.
She said seeing the flags waving as she drove into Annapolis from her home in South Florida was heartwarming.
“It kind of puts it into perspective that everyone recognizes our accomplishments,” Camacho said. “Ceremony or not, at the end of the day we all came here for one reason and that reason was to serve.”Support community journalism. Get a Capital Gazette digital subscription. »Selene San FeliceCONTACT
Selene San Felice is a features and enterprise reporter at The Capital in Annapolis, where she survived the newsroom shooting on June 28, 2018. She graduated in Dec. 2016 from the University of Tampa, where she was honored in 2019 as the school’s first distinguished alumni in journalism.