On this day in 1790, Congress authorizes Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s plan for having a fleet of ten cutters built to protect America’s coastline. This initial iteration was known as the “Revenue Marine.”
Our guide, Our fame, Our glory
First, here are a few excerpts from “Semper Paratus” (Always Ready), The Official Coast Guard Marching Song:
We’re always ready for the call,
We place our trust in Thee.
Through surf and storm and howling gale,
High shall our purpose be.
“Semper Paratus” is our guide,
Our fame, our glory too.
To fight to save or fight and die,
Aye! Coast Guard we are for you!
“Aye! We’ve been always ready!
To do, to fight, or die
Write glory to the shield we wear
In letters to the sky.
To sink the foe or save the maimed,
Our mission and our pride.
We’ll carry on ’til Kingdom Come,
Ideals for which we’ve died.”
Next, this is the final third, or so, of the Creed of the United States Coast Guardsman:
“I shall live joyously, but always with due regard for the rights and privileges of others.
I shall endeavor to be a model citizen in the community in which I live.
I shall sell life dearly to an enemy of my country, but give it freely to rescue those in peril.
With God’s help, I shall endeavor to be one of His noblest Works…
A UNITED STATES COAST GUARDSMAN.”
Finally, the “Coast Guard Hymn:”
Eternal Father, Lord of Hosts
Watch o’er the ones who guard our coasts
Protect them from the raging seas
And give them light and life and peace.
Grant them from thy great throne above
The shield and shelter of thy love.
Lord, guard and guide the ones who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky
Be with them always in the air,
In darken storms or sunlight fair,
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!
Grant to them Your eternal peace, Oh Lord,
For they have followed your commandment,
That No Greater Love has he, who would give up his life for another.