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.
Today, we pause to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. As we remember loved ones who were taken too soon, we honor the strength and courage of those who carry on their legacy. From first responders on the day of the attacks to the first line of defense for our nation today, Coast Guard men and women remain a dedicated force in service to this great Nation.
As the Coast Guard Academy Bears head into a rivalry game more than four decades in the making – the highly anticipated Secretaries’ Cup – the football team has come together to celebrate the life of Lt. James Crotty by dedicating the 2014 football season to his memory, raising the profile of a hero who truly lived and died by the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.
“Raymond Evans’ memory, character and legacy is a part of our Coast Guard culture,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Nothing could be more fitting than to commission a fast response cutter in his name – his spirit will live on in the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans.”
As many across the nation unofficially celebrate National Grandparents Day on Sunday, we wanted to share a story of a proud Coast Guardsman in the words of his granddaughter.
The SS Marine Electric sunk amidst a strong storm off the coast of Virginia on Feb. 12, 1983. Of the crew of 34, only three survived. In response to the sinking, the Coast Guard convened a marine board to investigate the causes surrounding the disaster. The resulting report was released 30 years ago this summer and would significantly alter the safety culture throughout the maritime community.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Peter MacDougall recalled the dark and stormy nights he went out into, knowing his wife could hear the helicopter take off from their house, imagining the anxiety it caused her. He spoke about the close calls. He spoke about survivors he rescued from the grip of the sea, and the men and women he served alongside who made each of his 40 years of service special.