First call, first call to colors

Yesterday was a really good day. I was proud to have represented the Pittsburgh Council of the Navy League at the inactivation ceremony for the USS Pittsburgh.  Tomorrow’s post will contain the speech Captain Jason Deichler made to commemorate the day.

This morning, I woke up to my phone ringing. My First Mate was calling to remind me that I needed to get moving. The difference between east coast time and west coast time has really been a challenge this time. Must be getting old. Or maybe the Captain was right yesterday when he called me a Crusty Warrant.

Shortly after Debbie and I spoke, I got a fantastic burst of deja vu. Outside my window, I heard the amplified sound of one of the greatest pieces of music of all time. The time was 0800. The music of course was the sound of freedom and liberty.

For the uninitiated, at 0800 every morning, colors is executed at Navy and other bases all over the world. Then they play a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

I stood at attention at my window and let the music wash over my spirit. My career slowly floated back to me. Boot camp. A school. Sub School. Charleston SC. Pearl Harbor. Five submarines, a drydock and a sub tender. They played the song the day I retired.

Now it was playing again at the submarine base where I once worked. I felt a surge of pride. My career has long since been over but that music still plays on. For the men of the USS Pittsburgh, a reminder. Even as the boat has been inactivated, the Navy and the country she served will continue to go on. As long as there is freedom, that song will resonate wherever the Navy serves. That made me smile.

Mister Mac

10 thoughts on “First call, first call to colors

  1. Hope you get back ok. East coast airports are having a heck of a problem with snow and ice.
    At least the Captain didn’t add “old” to the crusty warrant remark.
    Safe travels.

    1. It will be dicey but I am trusting in the good Lord and the pilots. As long as the plane can take off, I have a flight that is non-stop. I have always wondered though. If it was truly non-stop, when do you ever get off???

  2. When my dad worked at Puget Sound NS I was seven or eight. We picked him up at the end of the work day. Once he told my mother to stop the car and he got out and saluted something. I asked him what happened. He said that they were striking the colors. He would never have said they were lowering the flag, even to a kid.

    1. People who were not around the military probably have little to no idea how significant the ceremony is. I felt it the first morning in Boot Camp and again the last day of my career.

    2. Lowering colors is appropriate. “Striking Colors” is lowering the colors as a sign of surrender.

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