Standing the watch
Throughout history and all across the globe, countless nations, neighborhoods, communities, towns, and cities have adopted various forms of what is called the “watch.” The term and concept have been used with a number of professions, careers and the military. To have the “watch,” has come to symbolize an effort to be on guard or on the lookout for things occurring that may affect us all.
In more recent times, the “watch” has become a systematic approach to local vigilance by residents of a particular neighborhood to discourage crime and to promote safety. This watch is referred to as the “Neighborhood Watch.” Even most large companies, corporations and manufactures have security details that list positions as being the night watch. During the colonial days of our nation, there were those who were employed as the town or city watchmen.
In the Navy, the “watch” is a vital part of everyday standard operation and procedure. On shore or at sea, the watch is critical at every level and includes all ranks. Even when there is a retirement from the Navy, there is a poem that pays tribute to those who have served and “stood the watch.” The poem goes on to say, “while some of us were in our beds at night, this sailor stood the watch; while some of us were at school or work, this sailor stood the watch; even before some of us were born into this world, this sailor stood the watch; when the storm clouds of war were brewing, this sailor stood the watch.” However, the most stunning part of that poem comes toward the end … “this sailor stood the watch for a number of years, so that all Americans could sleep safely, each and every night, secure because this sailor stood the watch…”
Truly remarkable … what a wonderful thing to say to those men and women who have served their country well and now find themselves at the end of their military career. And to finally say to them, … “we are here to pay our respects as it is said for the final time… you stand relieved… relieved by those you have trained, guided, and led. Sailor you stand relieved of duty, we have the watch.”
Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at email@example.com, Twitter #AC53, or call 414-571-5015.