A Tribute to John Paul Jones on Independence Day
This week we celebrate Independence Day as a country on July 4, commemorating our declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776. During the American Revolutionary War, John Paul Jones (known as the Father of the American Navy) single-handedly took the war at sea to the British, attacking their coastlines and capturing their ships in the British fleet’s home waters. Jones gained his fame during the American Revolution, but his legacy and fighting spirit are still evident in today’s Sailors who serve aboard his namesake ship, USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53).
USS John Paul Jones returned to San Diego, Calif. July 3 from a 7-month deployment to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The second ship to bear the name, USS John Paul Jones carries the motto “In Harm’s Way;” a partial quotation taken from its namesake when he said, “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.”
Jones is also remembered for the legendary saying “I have not yet begun to fight,” regarding talks of his surrender.
If he was still alive today, Jones would celebrate his birthday on July 6. Jones died in 1792 and his remains are now interred in a crypt at the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Md.