Yes, Yankee Homecoming was supposed to culminate on Saturday by celebrating the Birthplace of the Coast Guard. George Cashman would be extremely proud that we are now a Coast Guard City as well – honoring the brave surf men who go out into that boiling sea while all others are trying to get away from it. Who, countless times, rescue those trapped by the treacherous currents of the Merrimack River mouth.
As forerunners of that special day, the Coast Guard Station today will be open from 10:00 until 2:00 today. (and only today) This cutting-edge facility located at 65B Water Street is officially called the United States Coast Guard Lifeboat Station. Men and Women of the service and of its auxiliary; will be guiding visitors and explaining the important role of the service as it functions under the umbrella of Homeland Security.
The open house is mentioned in the YH Booklet but Coat Guard Day is completely omitted!
Now before you start looking to get your money back that you spent for the Yankee Homecoming book; keep in mind this was put together by volunteers – most who have no idea of the history of the celebration. So busy in getting everything to work together in such a vast weeklong spree, they had little time to contemplate historically or philosophically the meaning of it all.
Unfortunately, the booklet will be stored in our archives – leaving future historians confused and frustrated.
First on the list in honor of this special day will be a prequel at the Custom House Maritime Museum on Friday Night. Not open to the public, members (and their invited guests) will get to enjoy a special night as they listen to two former crew members of the Coast Guard Barque, Eagle; and its rather “interesting” past with stories of war booty, rescue, restoration and even Nazi’s! Afterward, will be a reception where conversation and questions can be done over fine food, beer and wine.
The next official event on Coast Guard Day starts at 10:00 in the morning in which the Maritime Museum in honor of the Coast Guard will be opening its door for free admission all the way to 4:00. Locals and visitors will be able to see the exhibits and to “bone up” on history in the Coast Guard room as well as general information on Newburyport’s maritime past.
The next thing will be a ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on the lawn in the back of the museum which will include the following:
Coast Guard Day Celebration Program
Welcome and Introductions
Presentation of Coast Guard Awards
Navy League Presentations
Coast Guard Auxiliary Presentations
Special CGC East wind Presentation
Conclusion and Final Remarks
Playing of Semper Paratus
Lunch and refreshments served following the ceremony
Seating is limited so please RSVP to reserve a spot.
Then, to round out your experience in understanding the important role of the Coast Guard, head out to Plum Island Point. The Lighthouse (a still functioning facility) will be open from 1:00 to 4:00. Lighthouses are under the watchful eye of the service. At one time, the station itself was located on Plum Island near this general spot until it was moved in 1977 to Water Street. Be sure to find the commission in the hand of President George Washington on display inside the tower.
Participating in Coast Guard Day will return Yankee Homecoming to its original purpose.
Unfortunately (and fortunate for you) there won’t be a big crowd present on Saturday since most of our visitors and even the locals won’t even know the schedule of events!
Hopefully this will be corrected for 2014!
PS. Double reason to keep visiting my blog and website.