my voice America! Though I speak through the mist of 200-years, my shout for freedom will echo through liberty's
halls for many centuries to come. Hear me speak, for my words are of truth and justice, and the rights of man.
For those ideals I have spilled my blood upon the world's troubled waters. Listen well, for my time is eternal.....yours
is but a moment. I am the spirit of heroes past and future.
I am the American Sailor. I was born upon the icy shores at Plymouth, rocked upon the
waves of the Atlantic, and nursed in the wilderness of Virginia. I cut my teeth on New England codfish, and I was
clothed in southern cotton. I built muscle at the halyards of New Bedford whalers, and I gained my sea legs high
atop the mizzen's of Yankee Clipper Ships.
Yes, I am the American Sailor, one of the greatest seamen the world has ever known. The
sea is my home and my words are tempered by the sound of paddle wheels on the Mississippi and the song of whales
off Greenland's barren shore. My eyes have grown dim from the glare of sunshine on blue water, and my heart is
full of star-strewn nights under the Southern Cross. My hands are raw from winter storms while sailing down around
the Horn, and they are blistered from the heat of cannon broadsides while defending our nation. I am the American
Sailor, and I have seen the sunset of a thousand distant, lonely lands.
I am the American Sailor. It was I who stood tall beside John Paul Jones as he shouted, "I have not yet begun
to fight!" I fought upon Lake Erie with Perry, and I rode with Stephen Decatur into Tripoli Harbor to burn
the Philadelphia. I met Guerrriere aboard Constitution, and I was lashed to the mast with Admiral Farragut at Mobile
Bay. I have heard the clang of Confederate shot against the sides of the Monitor. I have suffered the cold with
Perry at the North Pole, and I responded when Dewey said, "You may fire when ready, Gridley," at Manila
Bay. It was I who transported supplies through submarine infested waters when our soldier's were called "over
there." I was there as Admiral Byrd crossed the South Pole. It was I who went down with the USS ARIZONA at
Pearl Harbor, who supported our troops at Inchon, and patrolled dark deadly waters on the Mekong Delta.
I am the American Sailor, and I wear many faces. I am a pilot soaring across God's blue canopy and I am a Seabee
atop a dusty bulldozer in the South Pacific. I am a Corpsman nursing the wounded in the jungle, and I am the torpedoman
in the nautilus deep beneath the North Pole. I am hard and I am strong. But it was my eyes that filled with tears
when my brother went down with the Thresher, and it my heart that rejoiced when Commander Shepherd rocketed into
orbit above the Earth. It was I who languished in a Viet Cong prison camp, and it was I who walked upon the moon.
It was I who saved the USS STARK and the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS in the mine infested waters of the Persian Gulf.
It was I who pulled my brothers from the smoke filled compartments of the USS BONEFISH and wept when my shipmates
died on the USS IOWA and USS WHITE PLAINS. When called again, I was there, on the tip of the spear for Operations
Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
I am the American Sailor. I am woman, I am man, I am white and black, yellow, red and brown. I am Jew, Muslim,
Christian and Buddhist. I am Irish, Filipino, African, French, Chinese, and Indian. And my standard is the outstretched
hand of liberty. Today, I serve around the world; on land, in the air, on and under the seas. I serve proudly,
at peace once again. But I was called again right after September 11, 2001, a different war this time, against
fanatical terrorists who attacked out beloved country, killing several thousand innocent civilians. But, fear not,
for I have spread the mantle of my nation over the oceans of the world, and I will guard her forever.
I am her heritage and yours.
I AM THE AMERICAN SAILOR!