Allen B. West

Anchors aweigh on the 239th birthday of the US Navy

Getty Images

Since the days of the Phoenicians to the present it has always been a widely held belief that the power of a nation is conveyed over the open seas.

Today is the 239th birthday of the “Global Force for Good,” our venerable United States Navy. From its early beginningswithf John Paul Jones aboard the Bonhomme Richard and his resolute words, “I have not yet begun to fight,” to the staunch command of Admiral Farragut, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” our young Navy has stood as our sea Guardians of the Republic.

We will never forget the resounding defeat of the Japanese Navy at Midway during World War II turning the tide of that conflagration — names like Halsey, Nimitz, Leahy resound in our history. I wonder if that history is even taught these days.

Advertisement - story continues below

Related Stories

She's BACK: Look what Hillary blames NOW for her loss...Notice anything curious about TIME's Trump cover? Take a good look...UNREAL: What OSU terrorist was doing before attack is beyond IRONIC...

Sadly, we find our revered U.S. Navy being decimated from a high water mark of 575 naval warships during the Reagan administration to around 283 today and on its way down to 230 — reflecting a post-World War I level. Still, our Navy answers the call from combat to humanitarian assistance.

And our U.S. Navy doesn’t just guard the sea lanes of commerce. Our naval forces seek out and kill some of the world’s greatest enemies — such as the U.S. Navy SEAL raid against Osama bin Laden.

Just north of my home is the U.S. Navy SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce Florida, birthplace of the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) and now home of the Maersk Alabama lifeboat with the three Navy SEAL sniper shots that took out Somali pirates holding ship’s Captain Phillips.

I find it fitting that on this day when we celebrate the Italian sailor Christopher Columbus, we also celebrate the 239th birthday of the lineage of our American Sailors.

Since the days of the Phoenicians to the present it has always been a widely held belief that the power of a nation is conveyed over the open seas.

Today is the 239th birthday of the “Global Force for Good,” our venerable United States Navy. From its early beginnings with John Paul Jones aboard the Bonhomme Richard and his resolute words, “I have not yet begun to fight,” to the staunch command of Admiral Farragut, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” our young Navy has stood as our sea Guardians of the Republic.

We will never forget the resounding defeat of the Japanese Navy at Midway during World War II turning the tide of that conflagration — names like Halsey, Nimitz, Leahy resound in our history. I wonder if that history is even taught these days.

Sadly, we find our revered U.S. Navy being decimated from a high water mark of 575 naval warships during the Reagan administration to around 283 today and on its way down to 230 — reflecting a post-World War I level. Still, our Navy answers the call from combat to humanitarian assistance.

And our U.S. Navy doesn’t just guard the sea lanes of commerce. Our naval forces seek out and kill some of the world’s greatest enemies — such as the U.S. Navy SEAL raid against Osama bin Laden.

Just north of my home is the U.S. Navy SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce Florida, birthplace of the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) and now home of the Maersk Alabama lifeboat with the three Navy SEAL sniper shots that took out Somali pirates holding ship’s Captain Phillips.

I find it fitting that on this day when we celebrate the Italian sailor Christopher Columbus, we also celebrate the 239th birthday of the lineage of our American Sailors.

“Anchors Aweigh, my boys,

Anchors Aweigh.

Farewell to foreign shores,

We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.

Through our last night ashore,

Drink to the foam,

Until we meet once more.

Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.”
MOLON LABE! BRAVO ZULU!

She's BACK: Look what Hillary blames NOW for her loss...

She's BACK: Look what Hillary blames NOW for her loss...

Notice anything curious about TIME's Trump cover? Take a good look...

Notice anything curious about TIME's Trump cover? Take a good look...