Here is part one an entry from iCommandant, the web journal of Admiral Thad Allen, regarding Wednesday’s ceremony honoring the Good Samaritan mariners assisting in the rescue of flight 1549.
Parts one and two, along with pictures from the ceremony, can be read HERE
[I]Today was one of those days that I truly cherish as Commandant of the Coast Guard…A position I often describe as the best job in the World.
This afternoon, Secretary Napolitano, Senator Lautenberg, Congressman Nadler, Congressman Sires, Congressman McMahon and Congressman Hall joined me at an award ceremony to honor 108 of the maritime professionals who participated in the rescue of 155 passengers and crew from US Airways flight 1549.
While a truly remarkable feat, I must be clear that this flawless rescue, that millions witnessed on TV and the Internet, did not happen by accident. The performance of the pilot and crew has been widely and justly lauded as extraordinary. However, the role of the local mariners was critical as well. Every day in the Port of New York/New Jersey and in ports across the country, professional mariners like those recognized today work side by side with their local, state and federal partners to keep American waterways safe, secure and open for business.
With an emphasis on communication, coordination, training, and exercises, the entire maritime community prepares daily to respond to all hazards and all threats. In doing so, they are able to prevent disasters, as they did here Jan. 15. Similarly, when mishaps or crises do occur, these fine professionals are able to save lives, preserve the environment and restore the vital flow of commerce as quickly as possible. This was demonstrated several times this past year including: the Western River floods in June, the New Orleans oil spill in July, and when hurricanes Ike and Gustav hit the Gulf Coast in September. It was also demonstrated in the evacuation of lower Manhattan following the attacks of 9/11.
Maintaining America’s preparedness to prevent, respond to or recover from disasters, natural or man-made, is a team effort requiring all levels of government, and both the private and public sectors. The port of New York/New Jersey is a model of that robust preparation and partnership.
While we are part of this team, this system of safety, it is the acts of the individual men and women who work on our waterways every day that accomplish remarkable things like the Miracle on the Hudson. Their commitment to professionalism, good seamanship and their fellow citizens, enables them to respond with no notice, even to risk their own safety, to the most harrowing events.
The opportunity to meet and talk with these selfless, dedicated citizens is one of the greatest sources of satisfaction I have in representing the men and women of the Coast Guard. Therefore, it is my pleasure and my honor to thank each and every one of the mariners and shore side support personnel for their dedication. Well done, shipmates.