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From its humble beginnings, as a child of the Continental Navy, the United States Navy grew and became one of the major reasons why America still stands, united, prosperous and secure. Without its force, and its brave veterans, the Civil War wouldn’t have been won, and Imperial Japan wouldn’t have been defeated in World War II.

Yet, on its 241st birthday, the branch has little time to look back and rest on its laurels, because it’s still fighting for American liberty — abroad — at this very moment. For so many service members, celebration comes in the form depicted in the following footage from the Red Sea: the USS Mason, defending itself in firing projectiles (Tomahawk cruise missiles) from its bow in the direction of rebels on Yemen’s coast — rebels actively trying to hit vessels in the U.S. fleet all week, with their own artillery.

It’s a powerful reminder that defending freedom and the American way of life is a duty that never ends, and can’t always be paused for cake and cocktails, no matter how much its deserved.

Anchors Aweigh“:

[Verse 1]
Stand Navy out to sea,
Fight our battle cry;
We’ll never change our course,
So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll out the TNT,
Anchors Aweigh.
Sail on to victory
And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!
[Verse 2]
Anchors Aweigh, my boys,
Anchors Aweigh.
Farewell to foreign shores,
We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.
Through our last night ashore,
Drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more.
Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.
[Verse 3]
Blue of the mighty deep:
Gold of God’s great sun.
Let these our colors be
Till all of time be done, done, done, done.
On seven seas we learn
Navy’s stern call:
Faith, courage, service true,
With honor, over honor, over all.

Many happy returns to all U.S. Navy service members, past and present.