Hamilton is a name internalized by each and every Coast Guard member. It’s the name held by the “father” of the Coast Guard, Alexander Hamilton and a name that has continued to serve our country in the form of Coast Guard cutters since 1830. The crew of Hamilton, the newest cutter to bear the name, carries forward a more than 180-year tradition of serving aboard a vessel that bears the name of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who created the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790.
“The names that will reside on the transom of these wonderful ships will inspire a generation of Coast Guard heroes that will always know their heritage, always know their history and they will always pay appropriate respect to the enlisted heroes that came before them.”
After graduating, he played five NHL seasons on the Chicago Blackhawks, but when duty called, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard to serve as a boatswains mate during World War II. While he served, he continued to play hockey on the Coast Guard Cutters, which formed in 1942. Even though the team was only around for two years, they were a great team that intimidated their opponents. Some even say they were the “the finest non-National Hockey League team ever to perform in league competition.”
In the pages of Coast Guard history are men and women committed to the achievement of the service’s goals. They exist to serve. One prime example is Lt. John A. Pritchard, Jr., from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Class of 1938.
Navigating into Kwajalein harbor, I could only imagine what it was like in the late 1940s, early 1950s when my grandfather served as a U.S. Navy harbor pilot in these same waters. Kwajalein Atoll is located in the Pacific Ocean, just north of the Equator and west of the International Date Line. Kwajalein was liberated by U.S. Forces during World War II in early 1944.
“The Fleet Plan and Officer Exchange MOU build on the long history of cooperation between NOAA and the Coast Guard. Our shared responsibilities in serving the American people’s interests in the maritime domain are fortified by our even closer relationship,” said Coast Guard Vice Adm. Charles Michel, deputy commandant for operations.
Ask any Coast Guard man or woman and any Marine about Douglas Munro and you will instantly be taken back to the fateful day in 1942 when a Coast Guardsman gave his life so a detachment of Marines might live. To a woman or man, each will recite Munro’s last words to his best friend, Ray Evans, “Did they get off?” In many ways, Munro’s sacrifice is at the very core of the close relationship between the two services. And, all who hear Munro’s story instantly understand the bond between American brothers and sisters in arms and the true meaning of service to nation.
In October, Hamilton was christened by it’s sponsor, Linda Kapral Papp, wife of retired Adm. Bob Papp. In the months since, the cutter has been put through a series of tests culminating in sea trials to determine the readiness of the vessel to support Coast Guard missions. Yesterday, the Coast Guard formally accepted delivery of Hamilton at a ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The U.S. Coast Guard Flags Across America program, sponsored by the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association, gathers on Sept. 11 each year to honor the 184 American patriots who gave their lives on 9/11 at the Pentagon. Sporting t-shirts with the motto, “Our heroes will not be forgotten,” the Flags Across America volunteers remembered American Airlines Flight 77, hijacked by terrorists on 11 September 2001 and crashed into the Pentagon after it took off from Washington Dulles International Airport.
To remember the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, a flag ceremony was performed. An unwavering American symbol, the vibrant red, white and blue colors stood out against the cloudy, gray sky as the flag detail team hoisted it up the pole. Capt. Gordon Loebl, commander, Coast Guard Sector New York, gave remarks on the significant role the Coast Guard plays on a daily basis to thwart terrorist activity and the positive impact of their response on that day.