A special poemYears ago we came across a beautiful poem that was written in 1860 by William Whiting. We would like to share it with you today, and while it expresses gratitude to all sailors...it touches all those who gave part of their lifetime to serve our country.
For twenty years, This sailor has stood the watch
While some of us were in our bunks at night, This sailor stood the watch
While some of us were in school learning our trade, This shipmate stood the watch
Yes...even before some of us were born into this world, This shipmate stood the watch
In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen brewing on the horizon of history, This shipmate stood the watch
Many times he would cast an eye ashore and see his family standing there, Needing his guidance and help, Needing that hand to hold during those hard times, But he still stood the watch
He stood the watch for twenty years, He stood the watch so that we, our families, And our fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety, Each and every night, Knowing that a sailor stood the watch
Today we are here to say:"Shipmate...the watch stands relieved. Relieved by those YOU have trained, guided, and lead Shipmate you stand relieved...we have the watch!"
"Boatswain...Standby to pipe the side...Shipmate's going Ashore!"
- William Whiting, 1860