Yesterday, in our area, we had a dearly beloved historical attraction and youth overnight field trip location SINK. Literally.
The tall ship – “The Pilgrim”, docked at The Ocean Institute in Dana Point, began to keel starboard and take on water. By the next morning, it’s deck was totally below water, with only the masts and a part of the bow above water.
The Pilgrim is a replica of the 3-masted schooner that Richard Henry Dana sailed from Boston to California on in 1843 and upon which he wrote his diary, which became the book and movie “Two Years Before the Mast.
It was a popular overnight field trip site for over 400,000 fourth and fifth graders from throughout Southern California, as they “enjoyed” nights at sea, living the life of a sailor.
It was known to have a leak that was being “handled” and was scheduled for a full pull out, that had been postponed. It is considered a total loss now, and is being salvaged.
It’s been sad for our community, as we have now added the loss of the Pilgrim to everything else that’s going on these days.
Times are definitely changing.
It was Walt Whitman, who wrote the poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” in which he compared The United States to a ship. At the time of his writing, 1865, the US had just ended the Civil War and President Lincoln had just been assassinated.
During his days, times were also changing – drastically.
Through her long and rich history, the good ship – America, has weathered many storms. She has brought joy and fulfillment of dreams to millions of children and their families as she has carried them on their varied adventures.
She is worn but she is not weak. Her values are just, her purpose clear – life and liberty for all. She has taken hits, and may appear to keel, but her foundation is sure and secure. Her hull is not breached, her body resolute. She is not lost and is not sinking.
Her people, aboard her, within her lifelines and rails may be knocked by pounding waves and deadly tempests, yet they will sail through the squalls and they, aboard her will safely dock again in peaceful, quiet harbors.
Times are changing.
But America is strong and resilient because her people are, her foundations are. May we change as needed, where needed but not compromise who we are as Americans and the purpose for which we have been called – life and liberty for all.
Cheers to America!