Veteran’s Day is a time when our nation honors the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have, or presently serve, in America’s armed forces.
These patriots of freedom deserve everyone’s heartfelt respect and appreciation for defending our country, keeping us safe and protecting our way of life, but their contributions are not confined to foreign soils or stealth military training / operations out of public sight.
No branch of the military is a finer example of serving its country but yet safeguarding the daily lives and interests of our civilians than the United States Coast Guard.
In Maine, the Coast Guard carries out its mission in accordance with the organization’s national mandate, and at the same time, protects and enhances state and local interests, both public and private, in a manner that makes the Coast Guard an irreplaceable partner and friend in our communities.
We’ve all seen a Coast Guard asset at one time or another patrolling or working the nearby waters, and when we do, it never fails to inspire great pride in our nation and for those who serve in our place.
During stormy weather, boaters and fishermen alike can count on the Coast Guard to brave the elements and rough seas to render assistance when their situation on the water warrants well-honed search & rescue skills.
And whether you’re a seasoned mariner or weekend warrior who depends on reliable aids to navigation along your favorite waterway – or even a landlubber who admires the traditional beacons and signposts of the sea, it is the Coast Guard who ensures that vigilance and technology meld together to safeguard others.
A light burning bright inside a lighthouse, the strong “voice” of a foghorn sounding, a buoy holding station near navigational hazards or a daybeacon presiding over wicked half-tide ledges is a daily reminder of the Coast Guard’s ever-watchful presence. The need for navigational aids watching properly never takes a day off, and neither do our men and women in blue.
When the frigid hold of winter grips the coastal regions, and our rivers and harbors freeze fast, the black-hulled domestic icebreakers of the Coast Guard can be counted on to break through the frozen wasteland and go where other vessels fear to tread.
In doing so, the Coast Guard keeps Maine’s vital commerce moving along the water, while safeguarding river communities like those along the Kennebec River from flooding due to ice jams.
Then there is the law enforcement and environmental responsibilities of the Coast Guard that protect the public at sea and our coastlines from harm respectively. And when it comes to integrating environmental initiatives such as renewable wind energy into operations, you can count on the United States Coast Guard to lead by example.
Finally, from Eastport to Kittery, chances are wherever Coast Guard units are located in Maine; the men and women of the USCG support a community effort that is important to you and your family by freely giving of their time, talents and expertise to help make the areas where we live, work and play, a better place.
We may honor and celebrate our nation’s veterans on one day in November, but the reality is that when it comes to the United States Coast Guard in Maine and throughout the nation, we should be showing our admiration and respect for their service to our country and YOU, every day of the year.
Thank you to all the men and women of the United States Coast Guard – you are all keepers of mission excellence and time-honored traditions!