BOSTON –WHERE SEABEE HISTORY INSPIRES OPTIMISM

If you want to place yourself in the very center of the storied arc of U. S. Naval history, go to Boston. Thursday night I was honored to attend #Seabee75, the Seabee Diamond Anniversary reception at the U.S.S. Constitution National Historic Site. Present were former Seabees of every era since the Navy’s Construction Battalions (CBs) were founded at the outset of World War II, as well as many active duty, Seabees, family members, and friends.

I was there with Nancy and Steve Bellantoni to share display copies of #thebattalionartist, alongside a slide show that featured some of the stunning watercolors their father Nat painted in the South Pacific during World War II.

Thursday night, I had the honor of shaking the hand of a World War II veteran who remembered Nat and to speak with Seabee veterans who had served in Vietnam and Desert Storm. But, to be honest, what left me feeling best of all, and most optimistic about our country and its future was meeting so many active duty sailors and officers who have dedicated their lives and careers to serving now—a young woman in dress whites who explained her specialized work as a Seabee welder, two able seamen (one, a woman actually) who wear uniforms of the Navy circa 1830 and serve as tour guides, as well as crew members, on the Constitution, and an Admiral newly assigned to Boston, and many others.

These are the people who will be making history—just as Nat and his generation of sailors did in the 1940s.