KITTERY, Maine —
What followed was a blur of activity for families. Navy officers in dress whites showed up on doorsteps. Friends and neighbors brought food.
After the submarine was declared sunk, President John F. Kennedy ordered the nation’s flags lowered to half-staff. International leaders sent condolences.
“The men, they were heroes. Most of them were doing what they wanted to do for their country to keep the country safe,” said Currier, 86, who never remarried and still lives in the same house in Exeter, N.H. “They were pushing things to the limit.”
For the families, the silver lining is that subs are now safer. The Navy accelerated safety improvements and created a program called “SUBSAFE,” an extensive series of design modifications, training and other improvements.