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Newport Beach

Volume 6, Issue 76  | September 21, 2021

Paddle for Patriots honors those lost by helping to support military families

Newport Beach residents Nick Nagel, Emily Ziebell and her daughter Anna Ziebell felt compelled to do something to honor the 13 U.S. service members who were killed in the Kabul, Afghanistan, airport attack on August 26 and recognize the many victims who lost their lives on 9/11, 20 years ago.

Paddle for Patriots Nagel

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Photos by Ann Chatillon

Nick Nagel, one of the organizers of Paddle for Patriots

So, at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, they along with 30+ other patriotic locals, launched paddleboards and kayaks to parade paddle-to-paddle in Newport Harbor, donning red, white and blue and the American Flag in honor of those fallen. The watercraft was donated by the Balboa Bay Club, Newport Aquatics Center and Newport Board Club.

Nagel, a U.S. Army First Lieutenant, conducted a heartfelt tribute, memorializing those lost by way of a speech about their military background, personal history and passions and families left behind. Most touching of all – their childhood and lifelong dreams were noted, dreams that died the day they did. 

Paddle for Patriots ceremony

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Paddlers gather during the memorial ceremony

The paddle route began in front of the Balboa Bay Club to the turning basin in front of Nobu and the Elks Lodge. They united in a large circle where Nagel and attending veterans conducted the memorial then continued onto Billy’s at the Beach for a dockside social, ending back at the Balboa Bay Club.

Paddle for Patriots Bassler

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Don Bassler on his paddleboard

The $19,165 that has been raised to date will be donated directly to the 13 respective families. 

If you would like to make a donation to Paddle for Patriots to help them reach their goal of $40,000, go here.

Paddle for Patriots paddlers

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Enjoying a dockside social at Billy’s at the Beach

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