Coast Guard Takes Note Of New London Nod In Obama Speech
By Julia Bergman
The Day
January 22, 2015
The U.S. Coast Guard received an early birthday present Tuesday evening when President Barack Obama mentioned New London in his sixth State of the Union address. The multimission military service will celebrate its 225th birthday on Aug. 4.
The mention came near the end of the president's roughly hourlong address, in a moment meant to rise above partisan politics and inspire unity.
"I still believe that we are one people," Obama said in a transcript of his speech. "I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long. I believe this because over and over in my six years in office, I have seen America at its best. I've seen the hopeful faces of young graduates from New York to California; and our newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs and New London."
The recognition was certainly timely. Along with the 225th anniversary, this year also represents the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Coast Guard Academy. Locally, a National Coast Guard Museum is in the works for downtown New London, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recently declared this summer as "Connecticut's Coast Guard Summer," with the city serving as an epicenter for those celebrations.
While the nod to New London confused some on social media, locals including many "coasties" knew immediately that the president was referring to the home of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
"The U. S. Coast Guard Academy has enjoyed a special relationship with the City of New London ever since our predecessor, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service Academy, was established at Fort Trumbull in 1910," said Adm. Sandra Stosz, superintendent at the Academy. "I think it's fitting that the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, one of just four armed forces service academies, is becoming more widely associated with the city we've called home for more than a hundred years."
During the 2014 fall semester, the Corps of Cadets volunteered 8,181 community service hours, some of which were in support of "Celebrate New London," a local event celebrating the partnership between the Academy and the city, where free tickets to the Academy vs. Salve Regina football game were offered to the local community.
On Wednesday, the Academy posted on its Facebook page saying, "CGA grads were recognized with the New London shout-out in the State of the Union address last night!" The post received more than 300 likes and was shared by more than 60 Facebook users.
Sheila Denn Condon commented on the post, writing, "Within minutes Ryan texted me asking if I was listening to the speech. I always do and it was an especially sweet moment this year!! Go Bears!!!"
Elizabeth Donne Walker also commented, writing, "My brother was a CGA graduate, he was on their boxing team amazing group of young men and women!!"