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Weathering the Storm Aboard USS Constitution

By Cmdr. John Benda, 76th Commanding Officer, USS Constitution

On behalf of the crew of USS Constitution, thank you to our partners, fans, and supporters who have celebrated and shared our many accomplishments and events over the years.

We also share our trials, and there is no doubt that the global pandemic of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a time that demands strong leaders and unity.

In the naval profession, we have never experienced the luxury of certainty; however, there is no denying that the current crisis is uniquely unexpected and the way forward will challenge us deeply.

As the pandemic develops, we are following all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of the Defense and Navy leadership.

For the safety of our guests and crew, we closed the ship to the public; however, we also adapted, providing daily Facebook live tours to continue our mission of promoting your Navy, USS Constitution and America’s rich maritime heritage.

The response has been outstanding, and we’ve had people join us from all over the world.

It’s been our honor to continue to tell the story of Old Ironsides, provide an educational resource for children home from school and to entertain our supporters throughout the crisis.

During the Age of Sail, navigating the ocean required keen seamanship and a crew that could act together as one.

When a ship entered a powerful storm, the crew would rush to heave up the sails and batten down all hatches as they prepared to weather the storm.

Attempts to sail in such a storm would only result in damage to the ship and loss of life.

The only option for the crew was to hold together and weather the storm.

We will weather this storm together.

The Facebook live tours can be viewed daily at 1 PM ET here.

For up-to-date information regarding the Navy’s response to COVID-19, please click here.