And a very happy birthday to the U.S. Navy today. It's 229 years old.
Quoted from Fact-Index.com:
The United States Navy is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. The U.S. Navy consists of more than 300 ships and over 4,000 operational aircraft. It has over half a million personnel on active or ready reserve duty. The Navy is part of the United States Department of Defense.
The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on October 13, 1775 by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. All together, the Continental Navy numbered some fifty ships over the course of the American Revolutionary War, with approximately twenty warships active at its maximum strength.
After the American War for Independence, Congress sold the surviving ships of the Continental Navy and released the seamen and officers. The Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1789, empowered Congress "to provide and maintain a navy." Acting on this authority, Congress ordered the construction and manning of six frigates on March 27, 1794 and in 1797 the first three frigates, USS United States, USS Constellation and USS Constitution went into service.
My husband and father both served in the Navy, and I was in Navy JROTC in high school. I wasn't much of a military type, but I stayed in ROTC for three years because I loved our ROTC instructors so much. Plus, a lot of my friends were in ROTC. I finally quit, though. It's really hard to do marching routines when you're hard-of-hearing. And it's not like I could try for a commission into the military, since they probably wouldn't have taken a mostly-deaf girl in the first place. But still, I have a soft spot in my heart for the sailor branch of our military. Softer than for all the other branches.
Here's a Happy Birthday letter from the Secretary of the Navy.
Here's the aircraft carrier that Dan served on in the late 1980s. He was there when the U.S. bombed Libya.
Here's the destroyer that my Dad served on in the late 1950s.
Here's the submarine that Dan and I visited when we were in Portland.
GO NAVY! Happy 229th!