Always Prepared, Always Appreciated
August 5, 2015
Tuesday's ceremonies marking the Coast Guard's 225th anniversary celebrate its important mission and remind us how fortunate we are in southeastern Connecticut to have such strong ties to a service whose motto is "Semper Paratus — Always Ready."
The crowd of well-wishers that packed City Pier testifies to widespread community support for the Coast Guard in New London, home to several commands, the Coast Guard Academy, the barque Eagle and, eventually, a national museum. Once constructed this institution will reinforce the region's long-held maritime prominence, with Groton, just across the Thames River, acknowledged as the Submarine Capital of the World thanks to the Naval Submarine Base and Electric Boat; Mystic Seaport Museum just to the east; Adm. Harold E. Shear State Pier in New London; and ferries running from New London to Long Island, Block Island and Fishers Island.
Long Island and Fishers Island sounds also are among the most popular in the Northeast for sailing, fishing, kayaking and other pleasure and commercial boating, so Coast Guard Station New London has long been a reassuring presence, always ready to respond to emergencies.
Rear Adm. James Rendon, superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, noted that the Coast Guard annually responds to 19,790 search-and-rescue cases and saves 3,560 lives and more than $77 million in property throughout U.S. waters. The service also confiscates 107 metric tons of cocaine bound toward the United States and interdicts nearly 3,000 undocumented migrants attempting to enter this country.
The service has come a long way since President George Washington signed into law an act that provided for a fleet of 10 vessels, known as revenue cutters, to provide armed customs enforcement. This small group eventually became the Coast Guard.
We join the community in offering hearty congratulations and grateful appreciation to the Coast Guard, and extend best wishes for the years to come.