The History of the U.S. Coast Guard film

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Since 11-15-04

From NSL UPDATE 11-11-2004

"The History of the U.S. Coast Guard" - November 11 2004 - 9 pm The History Channel Lou Reda film documents history of U.S. Coast Guard By Ron Devlin Of The Morning Call

Alexander Hamilton planted its roots in 1790. Ever since, the U.S. Coast Guard has been on the cutting edge of developing the nation's maritime security. It fought in all of America's wars, guarding the country's waterways against foreign aggression. Yet, the Coast Guard has long stood in the shadow of the other four armed services, earning the reputation mainly as a rescue-at-sea operation.

A new two-hour documentary, produced by Lou Reda Productions of Easton, argues that the Coast Guard deserves equal footing with the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. ''It's singular reputation as the worldwide emblem of rescue,'' Reda says, ''has overshadowed the unbelievable scope of its feats as America's fifth armed force.''

''A History of the U.S. Coast Guard: America's First Line of Defense,'' airs at 9 p.m Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday on The History Channel. The Coast Guard cooperated in producing the documentary, which Reda says is the first in-depth history for television.

''It's incredible that a service that has spent two hundred years protecting America from U-boats, bootleggers, smugglers, drug runners and terrorists has never, until now, had a proper salute,'' said History Channel vice president Charlie Maday. The documentary traces the Coast Guard's roots from its 1832 mandate from the U.S. Treasury Department, instructing it to patrol ''the severe portion of the season'' to locate ships in distress.

Along 160,000 miles of coastline, including lakes and rivers, the Coast Guard has been the first bulwark against attack from abroad. It also deals with subversion, narcotics, smuggling and natural disasters. Now, in the wake of 9-11, the Coast Guard has taken on a major role in assuring homeland security.

''The forever-changed world that the Coast Guard confronts after 9-11,'' Reda says, ''has brought it straight back to its earliest roots of protector of America's shores.''