[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 145 (1999), Part 14]
[House]
[Pages 19551-19552]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]



 TRIBUTE IN HONOR OF OFFICIAL DESIGNATION OF GRAND HAVEN, MICHIGAN, AS 
    COAST GUARD CITY, USA, AND CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF COAST GUARD 
                               TRADITION

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Hoekstra) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, this weekend marks a very special time in 
the history of one of the communities in the Second Congressional 
District of Michigan.
  For the past 75 years, Grand Haven, Michigan has celebrated its 
relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard and the contributions of the 
Coast Guard to our country as a whole.
  Since 1934, the city has hosted the Coast Guard Festival, which has 
included a major parade, displays of various Coast Guard vessels, and a 
variety of ceremonies that focus on the special relationship, the 
special partnership between the Coast Guard and the community of Grand 
Haven.
  Since 1963, when then-U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Richard Schmidtman 
attended one of these celebrations to dedicate the city's famous 
Musical Fountain, Grand Haven has proudly displayed the unofficial 
title of ``Coast Guard City, U.S.A.''. This designation was taken 
directly from Admiral Schmidtman's remarks. Ever since, signs near the 
entrances of the city have informed visitors that they were entering 
Coast Guard City, U.S.A.
  As I said, that designation has been unofficial. That is until this 
year. As part of the Coast Guard reauthorization act of 1999, this 
Congress made it possible for the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard to 
officially declare an American town as ``Coast Guard City U.S.A.''.
  I am happy to report to this House that, on this coming Saturday, 
August 7, 1999, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral James Loy will be 
in Grand Haven to make it official. Grand Haven will be Coast Guard 
city U.S.A.

                              {time}  2310

  He will do that this week at the 1999 Coast Guard festival.
  I have worked with several Members of the House and the other body 
for several years to make this designation a reality. I would like to 
thank all the people who worked with me to get this legislation 
approved, including Senators Abraham and Levin, the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest), and 
the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Shuster), who were especially 
helpful.
  I also want to thank the local officials in Michigan, especially 
Coast Guard festival executive director Jerry Smith. Also various 
people at the U.S. Coast Guard, including former Commandant Admiral 
Robert Kramek. And Members of my staff, especially Todd Sutton and 
Chris LaGrand. I would like to thank all of these people for their 
patience and for their hard work.
  Most of all, I congratulate the people of Grand Haven and their 
dedication and respect for the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. 
For more than 75 years, this community on the shores of Lake Michigan 
at the mouth of the Grand River has welcomed the Coast Guard personnel 
with open arms. They have celebrated their relationship with the Coast 
Guard since the first community Coast Guard picnic way back in 1924.
  In 1943, the city's residents also shared the Coast Guard's pain. 
They shared the Coast Guard's pain with a memorial service honoring the 
crew and the crew members of the Coast Guard cutter Escanaba, which had 
been based in Grand Haven from 1932 to 1940. One hundred and one men 
were lost when the ship was sunk by a German U-boat in the North 
Atlantic during World War II on June 13, 1943.
  The city shared its pain, but also its resources. The city showed its 
commitment to the U.S. Coast Guard by raising funds to build a 
replacement, which was named the Escanaba II. The mast of the original 
Escanaba was saved and

[[Page 19552]]

erected as a monument to those fallen heroes in Grand Haven's Escanaba 
Park, where it still remains today.
  Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I congratulate Grand 
Haven, which from Saturday and henceforth will be known officially as 
Coast Guard City USA.

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