The rescue Sunday of Capt. Richard Phillips by the U.S. Navy near the coast of Somalia represents the best of America.
We should all know the story by now. A group of Somali thugs boards the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama four days earlier, Phillips gives himself up to spare his screw, and he is held hostage until Sunday, when Navy snipers kill three of the hostage-takers and wound a fourth and safely rescues the captain.
Phillips is on his way home to his family in Vermont, and some bad guys are dead. It’s perfect.
The essence of America was evidenced in every way through this situation. Phillips first tried to escape by jumping off the lifeboat in which he was being held and trying to swin to a nearby Navy destroyer. That didn’t work, so the Navy tried to negotiate his release.
That didn’t work, either. As tensions grew and patience wore thin, Capt. Frank Castellano, commander of the USS Bainbridge, ordered his men to open fire on the pirates after they reportedly aimed an AK-47 at Phillips.
Moments later, the ordeal was over.
The Navy acted in the best traditions of the U.S. military, and Phillips persevered through a trying and frightening few days to survive the incident.
Their actions are the essence of America. This is what makes our country so great. This is why the U.S. is to be feared and respected. This is how a powerful nation was born and how it continues to prosper.
So thank you, Capt. Castellano, the entire U.S. Navy, and Capt. Phillips for your courage, bravery, honor, and character. You are what makes America so proud and so great.