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Homeland Security 5 Year Anniversary 2003 - 2008, One Team, One Mission Securing the Homeland

Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the 218th Birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard

Release Date: August 4, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Today I congratulate the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard on the 218th anniversary of the service. This year’s Coast Guard Day is a chance for me to join America’s Guardians in celebrating the service’s proud history and embracing its powerful future; I am honored to join Commandant Thad Allen today to commission the first national security cutter, the Bertholf, in its home port of Alameda, Calif. The Bertholf is one of the most advanced military vessels in the world and will enable our response to America’s maritime needs well into the 21st century.

As the U.S.' oldest continuous seagoing service, the Coast Guard has a long and distinguished history of protecting the public, the environment, and U.S. economic and security interests in all maritime environments, including international waters and America’s coasts, ports, and inland waterways.

The Coast Guard has been a vital part of this department and has consistently proven its important role in homeland security, law enforcement, search and rescue, marine environmental pollution response, and aids-to-navigation maintenance. I commend the Coast Guard on its many accomplishments, including over 1 million lives saved – and counting daily – since Aug. 4, 1790.

The Coast Guard has proven its motto time and time again; its more than 40,000 men and women are truly Semper Paratus, "Always Ready." Congratulations on another year of exceptional service.


This page was last reviewed/modified on August 4, 2008.