Friday, April 11, 2014

U.S. Navy Memorial Debuts Year of the Coast Guard

From our friends at the U.S. Navy Memorial...

Year of the Coast Guard: A Tribute to Maritime Protectors

U.S. Navy Memorial Debuts 2014 Exhibit on Team Coast Guard

Beginning this month, the United States Navy Memorial will honor our brave Coast Guardsmen with Year of the Coast Guard, a yearlong exhibit and series of events held at the Navy Memorial’s Naval Heritage Center. The exhibit is open to the public and will debut on Saturday, April 12, during the annual Blessing of the Fleets celebration, a highlight of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

This year, the Navy Memorial is honored to have Year of the Coast Guard chaired by VADM Harvey Johnson, USCG (Ret.), former Commander, Coast Guard Area Pacific. After the Coast Guard, VADM Johnson joined FEMA in 2006 as its Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer, turning around performance to optimum efficiency.

One of the priceless artifacts the Coast Guard provided for the exhibition is a late 19th century lighthouse lens made of cut and polished glass prisms that were designed to concentrate light far out to sea. The exhibition also features a Lyle gun, a short, squat brass cannon that was used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to lob a small projectile out to stranded and sinking ships. The sailors would then tie that rope off and life-saving station members ashore would send out a breeches buoy, as part of the rescue operation to tow back to shore safely. On display will be the uniform of the current Commandant of the Coast Guard, ADM Robert Papp Jr., along with a WWII SPARs dress uniform as well as one of their basketball uniforms. 

Navy Memorial will showcase fascinating historical photographs, uniforms, recruiting posters from military collections, and other rare artifacts in the Naval Heritage Center through March 2015. Among the original artwork is a depiction of the HMS Bounty sinking during Hurricane Sandy. Throughout the year, Navy Memorial will present a series of events (TBA), including wreath laying ceremonies, lectures, book signings and symposia in honor of the Coast Guard and their service to our nation.
For up-to-date information on Year of the Coast Guard programming, ‘like’ our Facebook page at

About the United States Navy Memorial:
Conveniently located on Pennsylvania Avenue – halfway between the White House and the Capitol, the United States Navy Memorial provides a living tribute to Navy people and a place for them to gather and celebrate their service. The outdoor plaza features a “Granite Sea” map of the world, towering masts with signal flags, fountain pools and waterfalls and The Lone Sailor© statue. Adjacent to the plaza is the Naval Heritage Center, where visitors can find educational displays about the contributions of the men and women of the Sea Services (Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine). Also housed in the Naval Heritage Center is the Navy Log – the online place for Navy people to stay connected with each other, celebrate their service and preserve the memories of their service. There, Navy veterans can build a record of their service online. Call (202) 737-2300 or visit for more information.