Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, April 21, 2010. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors April 21. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon's 126 person crew. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: local enforcer to global responder—nearly 230 years of Coast Guard evolution!

In 1790, Alexander Hamilton established a small fleet of coastal law enforcement vessels to patrol off East Coast seaports. Over the next 228 years, the service experienced rapid growth in its geographic area of responsibility, mandated missions, and organization through mergers with other maritime services, reorganizations, and transfers from one federal agency to another. These frequent changes demanded remarkable flexibility and resourcefulness of the Coast Guard. The service has lived-up to its motto Semper Paratus by adapting and evolving to meet the nation’s changing needs emerging as a global responder known and respected at home and abroad.


Piano

Our fame, our glory too

It’s no secret the remote but vibrant Aleutian city of Unalaska is home to many treasures of Coast Guard lore, yet one of the most prominent would seem unlikely: A piano. This piano is so important the crew from Coast Guard Cutter Munro gathered in their service dress blues at the house of City Councilwomen Zoya Johnson just to see it. Johnson generously opened her home so guests could gather around the piano keys and give a showing of the Coast Guard’s hymn, “Semper Paratus.” The musical selection was not only fitting for the company; it was on Johnson’s piano, in the Summer of 1926, that “Semper Paratus” was first composed!


Semper Paratus

Known as “Coast Guard Day,” August 4th is celebrated annually at U.S. Coast Guard units worldwide and also represents an opportunity to reflect upon our history and heritage of courageous service. One appropriate way to reflect upon the early history of the Coast Guard is to understand the references in the lyrics of our service song, Semper Paratus, which was written 90 years ago this year.