Today is Veterans Day, a day designed to celebrate our nation’s armed forces, their commitment, and their ultimate sacrifices. Though this day comes only once each year, the special individuals to whom it is dedicated deserve our thanks every day. The last year has been a tumultuous one for the entire world and the men and women of the American military have been engaged in various theaters of operations beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.
By 1775, the tenuous relationship between the British and the American colonies was at a breaking point. The colonists were enraged by what they saw as unfair treatment at the hands of the British government. The British boasted the most superior naval force in the world, and the colonists faced the daunting challenge of asserting American independence without a centralized naval fighting force.
As an alum of the graduate business school at Tulane, I followed the events in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Three years later, it’s not just the weather that seems to have improved. Last Thursday, Tulane cancelled classes for this week and ordered an evacuation of the campus on Saturday, with students who were unable to obtain a flight home from New Orleans being evacuated to Jackson State University in Mississippi.
On August 4, 1790, Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels to “enforce tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling.” Organized as the Revenue Cutter Service, the Coast Guard is the oldest continuous seagoing service in the United States. In 1915, the Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to become the modern Coast Guard.