One glance at the huge throngs that turn out for the Parade of Ships, Kids Day, National Memorial Service, Grand Parade and the fireworks, and it’s obvious that this festival draws a heck of a crowd.
But it’s not just those of us who live here year-round who enjoy the festival. Coast Guard personnel from around the country, and even from Canada, are routinely wowed at the warm reception they receive when they come to town for the festival.
First impressions are important. And imagine the first impression these Coast Guard men and women get when their ships split the pierheads, and they glance off the starboard bow and see thousands of people lined up along the boardwalk — cheering and clapping, waving and taking pictures.
“I felt like a rock star,” said a crewman from the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Griffon.
“I thought the queen was flying in,” joked a shipmate.
The crowds that turn out to welcome these proud men and women to our town —and treat them like royalty for the extent of their stay — never cease to wow them.
We’re proud to call ourselves Coast Guard City USA, and we’re eager to show that the name is more than just a courtesy title. It’s who we are, and we embrace it. The hundreds of enlisted Coast Guard personnel who were in town for the festival last week certainly felt the love. We hope their visit here was one they’ll never forget.
We thank them for their service, and hope they can make it back for a future Coast Guard Festival. When they arrive, we’ll be waiting with open arms.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.