Tonight's adventure - "USS Constitution Versus HMS Guerriere Battle Commemoration."
Today was fabulous!
OK, it was a little hot, I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't in the Middle East as I was on this day in 2004.
But no matter, it was lovely next to USS Constitution this evening! I was a little late last year & determined to be on time this year. I was crazy early, but I was prepared, I brought a book. I didn't end up reading much, I watched the set up for the event. I was literally the first of the audience to arrive, lol.
At 6 pm, the official party was "piped aboard" figuratively speaking because we were on the pier adjacent the ship. Old Ironsides is still undergoing a massive renovation. They had the replica cannon and a podium for the XO, LCDR Savage to speak from, and seats for us....so it was all good.
CDR Cooper explained the particular points that he felt made commemorating this battle worthwhile. I don't think many Americans realize the huge moral boost this victory gave America during the War of 1812. Our Navy was a fledgling enterprise, USS Constitution one of six frigates fighting the most powerful Navy on earth. Constitution's victory gave a hope to a badly demoralized country.
There were two guest speakers. The first was a gentleman from USS Constitution Museum, who recounted the history of the battle.
The second was a Mr. Jackson, who is a direct descendant of 1st LT William Sharp Bush's brother Lewis. LT Bush was the first USMC officer killed in combat. Mr. Jackson recounted the Bush family' s tradition of military service before and after his famous relative. Then, he spoke about a letter of condolence (an excerpt is here) written to Lewis Bush by Marine Lt. John Contee who fought alongside the gallant LT Bush. The letter has since been donated to the USS Constitution Museum. However, I was fascinated to learn that the speaker's father carried the letter in his back pocket during his time in the Navy in the Pacific theater during WWII. Imagine that.... I was going to ask him for details, but I never had the chance to catch up with him.
However, I did get to speak with CDR Cooper's wife and parents and mother-in-law who were all enjoying the evening.
So.......I know what you're saying.....that's nice... that's interesting.....good for the Navy. But what's the buzzing about?
Well, we were talking about the CPO Selects that are TAD on USS Constitution for Heritage Week.
And we talked about the stuff they are doing....like this service project.
And how there will be a guest speaker for them tomorrow.
And it's CAPT Thomas Kelley.
I get to go!!!!
And if that weren't enough....and it should be.....the Senior Chief came up to me and issued the invitation and said "What else can I do for you?" Yikes! I blanked. I said I should have made a list. Afterwards, CDR Cooper's mother told me I should have just said "What else do you have?" She's right.
So, tomorrow at noon, I will be at the Korean War Memorial (pic from Superdubey's Flikr) near Pier 4 and I get to meet CAPT Kelley.
You know, he's from Southie.
See? I told you I was buzzing.
Thanks CDR Cooper & Sr. Chief Twiford!