Each year, as veterans groups and public officials participate in events marking the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s official entry into World War II, Coast Guardsmen past and present gather to remember those lost that day and to celebrate the resilience of our nation in the form of the one U.S. warship that did survive the attack, Coast Guard Cutter Taney.
“I am humbled to be aboard this ‘hallowed iron’ on this day, in the presence of these veterans who sacrificed so much in defense of our country,” said Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Vice Adm. John P. Currier in a ceremony held on Saturday to mark the 72nd anniverary of the attack. “We are all eternally indebted to them, and we will never forget what they did for our country and our Allies.”
Surrounded by veterans, including several from the Greatest Generation who served aboard Taney during WWII, Currier reflected on the significance of the date not only as a memorial to those who perished but as a symbol of the important role America and our nation’s military has played in establishing and preserving the peace over the past seven decades.
“Pearl Harbor, like so many other battles, is known in the lexicon of our nation’s history not just because of its terrible cost, but because of the heroism, effort and perseverance of the men and women who sacrificed so much to achieve final peace,” said Currier.
Taney’s distinguished record in America’s wars is formally recognized with three battle stars for World War II service and numerous theatre ribbons for service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, but its lasting legacy is as a museum ship resting at a pier in Baltimore, Md., where the cutter occassionally serves a gathering place for those who serve and have served to relflect on the sacrifices of serving one’s country.
“May God bless those young men and women, serving around the globe today, many in harm’s way, so that we can enjoy the liberty and freedom that we often take for granted in our country.”