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nuity of men like John Cushing Aylwin on the Constitution, the crew of the gunboat on Lake Champlain, the men of DD-47 in the Atlantic in World War I and, finally, my father and his shipmates onboard DD-355 at Pearl Harbor and throughout the Pacific in World War II. All of these men had sacrificed to make it possible for me to enjoy an afternoon sail on what were once waters where cannons roared and are now the safe harbor of the strongest nation on earth. Somehow I know that the crews of all Aylwins would approve of the fact that my small sloop is armed for comfort rather than combat. My father, whose generosity made it possible for me to attend prep school in Hawaii, where I one day sailed a small skiff in the same waters of Pearl Harbor where he and his Aylwin rose to the chal-

within yards of Crab Island at the entrance of Plattsburgh Bay. It was on this now barren island that the American survivors of the historic battle buried their dead shipmates and erected a crude makeshift hospital to treat the wounded. Perhaps some members of the original Aylwin were treated at the hospital on Crab Island; perhaps others now rest there in peace. Jeanette and I raised a glass of champagne to the crews of all Aylwins as we passed Crab Island, close to starboard, with the now quiet waters of Plattsburgh Bay just over our bow. Here, I suddenly knew that Aylwin really was, for me, the inexorably intertwined threads of freedom and family: the freedom won with the toil, blood and lives of the conti-

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Profile for Tidewater Times

Tidewater Times December 2018  

Tidewater Times December 2018