U.S. Coast Guard Memorial

The U.S. Coast Guard Memorial

Two tragic episodes in U.S. Coast Guard history, both occurring during World War I, prompted the construction of this memorial. On September 16, 1918, nineteen members of the crew of the cutter Seneca volunteered for a rescue party to salvage the British steamer Wellington, which had been torpedoed by a German submarine. Eleven of those volunteers lost their lives when the Wellington exploded and sank. Only ten days later, on September 26, 1918, an enemy submarine sank the cutter Tampa in the British Channel, killing all 131 on board. 

The Coast Guard originated in 1915, when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service. The Tampa and the Seneca had been ordered to operate as part of the Navy when the United States entered World War I in April 1918.

The U.S. Coast Guard Memorial was dedicated on May 23, 1928. Architect George Howe and sculptor Gaston Lachaise captured the spirit of the Coast Guard's legendary steadfastness in the monument's rock foundation and pyramid design. Above the Coast Guard motto Semper Paratus ("Always Ready"), a bronze seagull appears poised to lift off into flight. The seagull symbolizes the Coast Guard's tireless vigil over the nation's maritime territory. The names of the vessels Seneca and Tampa and their crewmen, as well as all Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives during World War I, are inscribed on the sides of the monument.

The U.S. Coast Guard Memorial sits atop a hill between Jessup and Dewey Drives, near the southern edge of the cemetery.