They tell me you are tough and I believe them, for I have seen your sweating warriors
under the grueling sun, each one doing his thing.
And they tell me you are lethal and I answer: yes, it is true I have seen the damage inflicted by your daring
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: on the faces of men and boys I have seen the hunger for home.
And having answered so I turn to those who sneer at this my ship, and I give them back the sneer and say to
Come and show me another ship with lifted head singing so proud to be afloat and seasoned and reliable and enduring.
Flinging aircraft into the sky, amid the whine of engines and bursts of flame:
here is a big bold lady set vivid against the soft setting sun;
Fierce as a lioness with eyes gleaming for action, conditioned as an Olympiad ready for competition.
Flat-topped, Steaming, Shuddering, launching, recovering, relaunching,
Under the smoke, dust all over her back, laughing with splashing mouth, under the awesome burden of peace-keeping,
Laughing as a young girl laughs, bragging and laughing that under her decks is the pulse, and under her flags the
heart of the crew, Laughing!
Laughing the noisy, confident, sprawling laughter of youth, well armed, sweating, proud to be...
Protector of Freedom, Steam maker, Sling shooter of Airplanes, World traveler and Last of a Rare Breed.
LCDR D. Garvey