During the ceremonies at the recent grand opening of the Museum of Lighthouse History in Wells, Maine, Timothy Harrison, editor of Lighthouse Digest magazine and president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, was surprised when Rear Admiral David Pekoske, commander of the First Coast Guard District, presented him with the United States Coast Guard’s Meritorious Public Service Award.
Harrison, who had no idea in advance that he was going to be presented with the award, was totally caught by surprise. As he pinned a medal on Harrison’s jacket lapel, Admiral Pekoske said, “No one is more deserving of this award than Tim Harrison. The Coast Guard genuinely appreciates your efforts to preserve our Coast Guard and our nation’s history.”
The admiral then read an excerpt from the award to Harrison that says, “He has demonstrated, through communication and volunteerism, that an individual citizen can make a difference in the preservation of Coast Guard and American history. Mr. Harrison’s unconditional support and time has created a link to the past, which allows people around the world to learn the history of the Coast Guard and the U. S. Lighthouse Service. Mr. Harrison’s selfless contributions to Coast Guard and American history are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of public service. Under Harrison’s leadership, the American Lighthouse Foundation has experienced unprecedented growth as an organization.”
Harrison said he was honored to receive the award, saying, “We (the American Lighthouse Foundation) have a great partnership with the Coast Guard and I’m proud to be associated with a military branch of our government that has such a rich heritage to our nation’s history.”
He went on to say, “What I’ve been trying to do is create a movement of sorts that will be a legacy for future generations. If we don’t save this history now, it may never be saved. While it is vital to save the actual towers, it is just as important to save the history associated with them so future generations can learn who we are, how we got there and how we’ve become the great nation that we are today.”
This story appeared in the
October 2005 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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