Hamilton crew honor Revenue Cuttermen who patrolled the Bering Sea

UNALASKA, Alaska - San Diego-based crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton participate in a flag replacement ceremony at the Unalaska Memorial Park Jan. 15, 2011. The memorial is a dedication to the Coast Guardsmen who have served in the Bering Sea Patrol throughout the years. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton.

Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton participate in a flag replacement ceremony at the Unalaska Memorial Park Jan. 15, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo

UNALASKA, Alaska – The San Diego-based crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton conducted a flag replacement ceremony at the Bering Sea Patrol Monument Saturday dedicated to Revenue Cuttermen who served on Bering Sea Patrols since 1880.

The crew exchanged a weathered national ensign, an Alaska state flag and a Coast Guard standard with new ones following remarks regarding the significance of the Bering Sea Patrol.

Capt. Matthew Gimple, commanding officer of the Hamilton, officiated the ceremony at the memorial park and concluded with reading the Coast Guardsman’s prayer.

The Bering Sea Patrol monument was dedicated by the Coast Guard and Alaskans on the Coast Guard’s bicentennial, Aug. 4, 1990. It is a tribute to the Bering Sea Patrol – those U.S. Revenue Cutter Service sailors who sacrificed much for Alaska and their nation.

The Coast Guard’s predecessor, the Revenue Cutter Service, began patrolling the waters of Alaska in 1865. The Bering Sea Patrol began officially in 1880 when the Secretary of the Treasury tasked the Revenue Cutter Corwin to cross the Arctic Circle and patrol north to enforce revenue laws ensuring proper harvesting of northern fur seals. This prevented the possible extinction of the species due to overharvesting.

Alaska patrols in the Bering Sea continue today with a near constant Coast Guard presence in the region. Crews enforce maritime laws, provide search and rescue, humanitarian aid, and support for scientific research. For more than 100 years the Coast Guard has been serving the people of Alaska and safeguarding our natural resources and commerce.

The Hamilton is the first Secretary Class High Endurance Cutter commissioned in 1967 and is homeported at Naval Station San Diego.

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