The USCG's 223rd Birthday!

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We at the FCGH are happy to see so many people have noted the 223rd birthday of the United States Coast Guard on their pages. We too salute those men and women — active duty, reserve, civilian and auxilarists — who are today standing the watch, literally around the world.

And as an organization dedicated to preserving the rich heritage and history of the Coast Guard, we particularly want to note the service — active duty, reserve, civilian and auxilarists — of all those who have made the more than two centuries of history of the Coast Guard such a compelling story. Thank you for the watches you stood.

But rather than repeat the postings you have made about “A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws,” that Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Paper No. 2., we’d like to challenge you instead.

Of all the service songs, Semper Paratus, is the only one that actually provides a history lesson about the service. And while most of you know “From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone,

To Europe and Far East, …” from the first verse, how many of you know the history attached to the second verse?




These names are hard to match;

From Barrow’s shores to Paraguay,

Great Lakes or ocean’s wave,

The Coast Guard fights through storms and winds,

To punish or to save.”


So our challenge to you on this 223rd birthday is this: go out and find out why we were in Paraguay in the 1800s teaching the US Navy about riverine warfare. And while you are at it, let us know which part of the Coast Guard’s history outlined in Semper Paratus you think is the most defining of the service.


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