Resolution Will Designate First Week in August as “Coast Guard Week”
The General Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Vince Mazzeo designating the first week in August of each year as “Coast Guard Week” to honor the military branch’s countless contributions to the State of New Jersey.
The resolution (AJR-100) also honors the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May for its designation as the fifth largest base in the Coast Guard, the sole accession point for the entire enlisted workforce, and the only recruit training center in the nation.
“Since its early days, the Coast Guard has been an integral force in New Jersey,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland), whose district includes the town of Cape May. “Whether in war time or peace, their efforts have saved lives and protected our shores, time and time again. The Cape May base has also been a major creator of jobs and a vital contributor to the Southern New Jersey economy and it deserves our utmost support.”
“Many owe their lives to the Coast Guard’s dedicated search and rescue operations,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “In the aftermath of 9/11, the Coast Guard was on the front lines helping to evacuate people and protect our shores. When Superstorm Sandy devastated our coast, the Coast Guard led rescue efforts from the sea. They have been there countless times for us and for that they deserve our gratitude and this recognition.”
The United States Coast Guard began as the Revenue Marine (later renamed the Revenue Cutter Service) on August 4, 1790, to suppress smuggling operations and collect custom duties and tonnage taxes. In 1848, Congressman William Newell of New Jersey set in motion a series of legislative maneuvers that led to the formation of the United States Life-Saving Service to assist distressed navigators.
On January 28, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law “The Act to Create the Coast Guard,” which combined the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life Saving-Service to create the United States Coast Guard.
Since its inception, the Coast Guard has been responsible for the security of the ports and waterways of the United States during times of both war and peace. In addition to the Coast Guard’s wartime contributions, the service aids mariners in jeopardy, patrols shipping lanes, and engages in drug enforcement, immigration, and environmental protection operations.
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Coast Guard personnel were among the first responders to the World Trade Center and assisted in evacuating more than half a million people by water from lower Manhattan. During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Coast Guard also joined with local police and fire agencies in responding to emergency and mayday calls, and deployed helicopters, boats, and other vessels to help in the recovery efforts.
Today, nearly 2,000 active-duty men and women, 175 reservists, and approximately 2,000 auxiliary personnel are stationed in New Jersey.
In light of these countless contributions, the joint resolution designates the first week in August of each year as “Coast Guard Week” and honors Cape May as the United States Coast Guard’s enlisted accession point and recruit training center.
The resolution also requests that the governor issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and residents of the state to observe “Coast Guard Week” with appropriate activities and programs.