Benicia should be grateful to Terry Scott and Bernard Wormgoor for bringing to our attention to the need to support the United States Coast Guard at this moment.
In all the five branches of our military, their white ships are examples of how we expect our military to serve us. The broad mission of the Coast Guard is important in some way to virtually every citizen. Their standards guarantee the safety of every vessel and every passenger who travels on the water. They are deployed to assist the other branches of our armed services in times of conflict. They enforce the law off our coasts and they make navigation safe. The Coast Guard is charged with directing the cleanup of oil spills.
When we responded with . generosity to their need, we were given a chance to ·see the better part of ourselves. We also were given an opportunity to reflect on what duty truly means.’ Duty isn’t paying someone else to do something that you don’t want to do. Duty isn’t standing behind them. Duty is standing with them as best you can.
Fifty years ago this August, the Coast Guard was on duty at the Humbolt Bay radio beacon. We had lost our bearings in a violent storm and it was only because of the beacon that our fishing boat was able to find safe harbor.
All of our lives are the same. We receive the most important part of our education in life and not in school. We all have learned that duty, caring, gratitude and kindness are easy words that are easy to hide behind. The Coast Guard doesn’t hide behind its duty, hey performs it with integrity is we have witnessed, we are confident they will always remain on station. In its way, the Coast Guard has a duty to care. We should be grateful for what they do and we should be caring in our way. Yet, we have another duty to perform and that is the duty to reconcile and to understand. If we expect the Coast Guard to make our waterways safe, we must understand our part. If we expect our armed services to stand for us in times of conflict, our leaders have an obligation to advocate for world peace. We cannot move forward without the spirit of reconciliation and understanding. Otherwise, we only create friction. This is true in our city as well as globally. We are seeing around us everywhere, that friction too often becomes a flame.
The last several weeks are clearly a moment when our city has realized that we can work together for the common good. I am confident that in time the Coast Guard will receive the proper support. I’m confident that we will stay with them until they do. It is my hope that our spirit of co-operation will grow and that the next months will continue to be ones in which we can work together to close the divisiveness’which festered last year in our city.
Will Emes Jr.