As a tribute to our Navy brothers at the Hut (and even a Coast Guard patriot) I thought it would be appropriate to report something that happened today in 1997 that I also have a personal tie to. The U.S.S. Constitution, aka Old Ironsides, which defended the United States during the War of 1812, set sail with 216 crew members under its own power for first time in 116 years. Leaving its temporary anchorage at Marblehead, Mass. for a one-hour voyage it marked its 200th anniversary. The actual anniversary was the following October. It was built in 1797 and was never defeated in 42 battles. Prior to this launch her Navy crew received training in sailing a square rigger aboard the Coast Guard’s Eagle. The Coast Guard then enforced security and safety zones around the Navy frigate during her brief voyage around the harbor. More than 800 Coast Guard personnel, 10 cutters, three helicopters and 81 small boats were involved in the operation.
Before retiring a few years ago, I had a three-day assignment on a project in Boston Mass in which the U.S.S. Constitution is currently docked. My hotel was adjoining the site and from my room I have a great view of “Old Ironsides”. Needless to say I did not watch TV much, preferring to sit and gaze at the ship’s beauty. After work my business partner and I would walk around the dock. While secured it was still very impressive as was the museum that was part of the site. There are still active assigned U.S. Navy personnel there caring for this icon of American Naval history. The ship is usually berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charleston Navy Yard at one end of Boston’s Freedom Trail where I was staying. On May 18, 2015 the Constitution entered Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard to begin a three-year restoration program. Long may She sail!
As a side note Friday evening at the Community Center John Wayne is in the movie Stagecoach and will be shown free to the public in the auditorium at the Center (610 S. Wood). I heard a rumor of free popcorn.
Our regular meeting is this evening, the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM (as well as the 1st Thursday). The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meeting for July are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things have to be postponed. Be sure to watch the heat this weekend and drink plenty of water for the next day’s activities. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.