Honoring the US Marine Corps at USS Constitution

[This is reprinted from Nov 22, 2013]

It’s been my honor for many years to pipe for the US Marine Corps at an annual breakfast (the Lt Bush Breakfast) each November at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. It falls close to Veterans’ Day and the US Marine Corps’ birthday—it honors the first US Marine officer killed in action, Lt. William Sharp Bush, on board USS Constitution during her bodacious victory over HMS Guerriere in the opening weeks of the War of 1812.

On Friday, November 8 we gathered in the chill morning air ship-side at Constitution to observe morning colors. In the above picture the color guard is lined up with our backs to the stern of the ship, facing the assembled guests and notaries. Left to right are me, the 1812 Marines (a lieutenant and private), a Marine Corps color guard, and the color guard of USS Constitution carrying the 1812 US flag (they can carry either the modern flag or the 1812 flag). At precisely 8:00 am, the ship’s gun (navy speak for cannon) is fired and the ship’s ensign (navy speak for US flag) is raised while the national anthem plays.

I then step off, leading the procession and guests back across the Navy yard to the USS Constitution Museum, which hosts the breakfast. This year’s guest speaker at the breakfast was Major General William Catto, USMC (Retired).

I’m proud to be able to support the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the USS Constitution Museum in this manner. USS Constitution is more than simply America’s Ship-of-State, she’s a vibrant link to our past and vital component of our national heritage. Huzzah!

It’s always a pleasure to work with the crew and command of USS Constitution. Many thanks to the ship’s Public Affairs Office and to MC2 Peter Melkus for the photos.

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