Coast Guard gala commemorates 20 years in Philadelphia

by Petty Officer 3rd Class Crystalynn A. Kneen

Philadelphia (CG Public Affairs) – The smell of gun powder from a 150-year-old artillery cannon lingered, as a thick, gray blanket of smoked filled the air. The sound of bagpipes echoed throughout the courtyard, as family, friends and guests of the crew of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay joined together to celebrate the unit’s 20-year heritage in the city of Philadelphia.

“This celebration marks the 20th anniversary of a partnership between the Coast Guard and the city of Philadelphia.” said David Scott, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. “We are here to recognize how important our port community is to this region and the economy.”

The celebration began with a ceremony consisting of an array of guest speakers who expressed their gratitude to Scott and his crew for their partnership to the city.

Historical touches such as a fife and drum player performed the National Anthem during the posting of the colors.

Afterward, Lt. Tim Marriott displayed his own heritage to the crowd by playing Semper Paratus, the Coast Guard’s anthem, on bagpipes as the ceremony came to a close
Immediately following the ceremony, guests had the chance to travel back to the Civil War era as the Tidewater Maritime Living History Association setup a display consisting of Civil War artifacts. Throughout the day, the guests could hear a thunderous rattling as a cloud of smoke filled the air when the association fired a Revolutionary War era artillery cannon.

“It was a great experience to help and be a part of what took place today,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Brett Shavack, a member of the sector who helped fire the cannon. “I gave back to what the men and women before me gave, I learned a lot. I was proud.”

Children’s eyes sparkled with interest and excitement with a visit from Coastie the talking tug boat and the Philly Phanatic, the mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they danced around the courtyard.

The event closed with a morale volleyball game and a barbecue feast for the crew and guests.

“It’s wonderful to celebrate partnership, pride and history with the city of Philadelphia,” said Capt. Theodore Harrop, the executive officer of Sector Delaware Bay. “This is a lot of extra work for the crew, but it helps them appreciate the heritage and pride as a unit. I think the city also appreciates the crew and what we do.”

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