Great Lakes Coast Guard commemorates Veterans Day

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CLEVELAND — The commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, which comprises the entire Great Lakes region, was the keynote speaker at the City of Cleveland’s Veterans Day commemoration at Cleveland City Hall Monday.

Rear Adm. Fred M. Midgette, who took command of the district in June, delivered an address to about 50 attendees at the event, titled “Honoring All,” to recognize the service and sacrifice of today’s veterans and those who came before.

“Our veterans are a constant source of pride,” said Midgette. “Many of them continue to serve at our district headquarters here in Cleveland.”

“Since our formation, your local Coast Guard has remained committed to protecting those on the lakes, protecting the nation from threats delivered by the lakes, and protecting the lakes themselves,” said Midgette.

Rear Adm. Fred M. Midgette, commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, delivers the keynote address at a ceremony honoring veterans and supporters of veterans at Cleveland City Hall, Nov. 11, 2013. The event, hosted by the Joint Veterans Commission of Cuyahoga County, Base Cleveland VeteransCommittee, and Cuyahoga Community College, recognized individuals who promote the welfare and public image of veterans in the Cleveland area.

Rear Adm. Fred M. Midgette delivers the keynote address at a veterans day ceremony at Cleveland City Hall, Nov. 11, 2013. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Levi Read

“I speak for all of us when I say that we’re proud to call Cleveland home. I couldn’t pick a better city to house our headquarters.”

For 237 years of American history, tens of millions of brave men and women have answered their nation’s call to serve. They have underwritten our freedoms by their duty, honor and selfless service. For 223 of those years, the U.S. Coast Guard has served, at home and abroad, to protect America’s maritime interests.

In 1876, only 40 years after Cleveland was incorporated as a city and 80 years after it was founded, the first life-saving crew began operation at the west entrance of Cleveland Harbor.

Since then, the Coast Guard has grown to become the predominant branch of the U.S. Armed Forces in the greater Cleveland area. Currently, almost 500 active-duty and Reserve service members and civilian employees work in the area.

The Coast Guard Historian’s Office website has more information about the history of the Coast Guard on the Great Lakes.

In honor of Veterans Day, the staff of the 9th District External Affairs Division published a series of blog posts to the Great Lakes Coast Guard Official Blog site, compiling excerpts from the personal memoirs of a World War II Coast Guard veteran.

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Part 1: The start of a journey to “hell” Part 2: German snipers, souvenirs and a volcano Part 3: Dropping eggs by the dozen
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Part 4: A war-torn winter and the Allied invasion of Italy Part 5: Limeys and Jerries and Frogs, Oh Boy! Part 6: D-Day and saying goodbye

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