OKEECHOBEE -- Okeechobee community members gathered around the veterans memorial in the Veterans Park section of Flagler Park in downtown Okeechobee on Nov. 11 to remember “All gave some. Some gave all.”
Okeechobee High School JROTC provided the Color Guard and the Honor Guard for the program.
Programs, music and the tent were provided by Buxton & Bass Funeral Home.
Guest speaker Rear Admiral James W. Underwood, United States Coast Guard, retired, told those gathered about the history of the Coast Guard, which was established Aug. 4, 1790, when President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorizes the construction of 10 vessels, referred to as “cutters,” to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling..
He said during times of conflict, the president can transfer the assets of the Coast Guard to the U.S. Navy. Members of the Coast Guard served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
He said on an average day the U.S. Coast Guard:
• Conducts 45 search and rescue cases;
• Saves 10 lives;
• Saves over $1.2M in property;
• Seizes 874 pounds of cocaine and 214 pounds of marijuana;
• Conducts 57 waterborne patrols of critical maritime infrastructure;
• Interdicts 17 illegal migrants;
• Escorts five high-capacity passenger vessels;
• Conducts 24 security boardings in and around U.S. ports;
• Screens 360 merchant vessels for potential security threats prior to arrival in U.S. ports;
• Conducts 14 fisheries conservation boardings;
• Services 82 buoys and fixed aids to navigation;
• Investigates 35 pollution incidents;
• Completes 26 safety examinations on foreign vessels;
• Conducts 105 marine inspections;
• Investigates 14 marine casualties involving commercial vessels; and,
• Facilitates movement of $8.7B worth of goods and commodities through the Nation’s Maritime Transportation System.