Sunday, September 23, 2007

September 23, 1779...

"Bonhomme Richard, Pallas, and Alliance engaged the British warships. The 44 gun Serapis engaged the smaller 42 gun Bonhomme Richard. The 32 gun Alliance counter-engaged Serapis. Serapis twice raked Bonhomme Richard with broadsides which cut her mainmast and holed her below the waterline, taking individual hits in return.

With Bonhomme Richard burning and sinking, it is believed her ensign was shot away. The British commander asked if she had struck her colors. John Paul Jones has been quoted as saying, “I have not yet begun to fight.” He then rammed Serapis and tied up to her, his marksmen in the rigging clearing her decks so a boarding party was able to cross and effect her capture."

The "marksmen in the rigging" were of course members of that new (1775) service branch called Marines. On this the 228th Anniversary of John Paul Jones' amazing victory over superior forces, a new enemy arrives to take our measure and as usual, it is still the Patriot who is outnumbered and outgunned, but stands his ground with whatever is on hand to continue the good fight. Our Founding Fathers left us a legacy of courage, and named for us the rights we are to hold dear and fight for, so it is up to each of us to man the riggings whenever the call goes out to clear the deck or repel boarders.

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