A week later the CG had another major event that ought to have received attention across the country. In fact both countries. But my brief search turned up no news accounts in Canada. The date in question was 13 November. Also worthy of note were 29 July and 9 August.
On 9 August 2013 President Barrack Obama signed the legislation that received unanimous approval of both the House of Representatives and the Senate approving the name of the new national headquarters for the US Coast Guards. It would be named after Vancouver BC born Douglas A Munro, the 22 year old who gave his life in the saving of 500 marines at Guadalcanal in September of 1942. His posthumous Medal of Honor was the only MOH ever awarded to a member of the USCG.
Shown here is Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, who has just presented the rather large key to the new Douglas A Munro Headquarters front door during a ribbon cutting ceremony on 29 July, even before the bill was actually signed by the President. The USCG's Admiral Bob Papp, is the Commandant, and the key he is receiving in the picture probably won't be added it to his personal key ring.
When completed, the over 4 Billion dollar complex will host about 30 agencies of the Homeland Security. The CG building is the first to be occupied, cost over 400 million to build and will host close to 4,000 men and women. It is fitting that the CG is the first to move in. It is the very first time ever in their history that they have had a building built with their specific needs in mind. It is also to the USGG that the honor falls as being the first between itself and the navy to come into existence. It traces itself back to Revenue Cutter services in the days of George Washington.
When looking at some of the history of the USCG I was quite surprised to see some of their very impressive numbers. Numbers that few in the public might have come to realize as well. For example, since its creation 217 years ago, the CG and its predecessor organizations have saved over ONE MILLION lives. Today it active strength is over 42,000 and it can call on some 8,000 reservists another almost 9,000 civilians and still another 32,000 in its auxiliary forces.
Their men and women around the world have performed almost 20,000 search and rescue operations and in these they saved over 3,500 lives. Oh! I should add... that was just in 2012. (But in fairness, 2012 was a leap year..so they did have that extra day to shine.)
I am not sure if the flags he ought to be holding in both hands will also soon join this statute.
Douglas was a Petty Officer and a 1st class signalman and as part of his duties he would be required to send messages, via these flags from his location to others on land or ship. A close look at his career will show times when he did this under enemy fire.
More of Friday,