A century after President Theodore Roosevelt eulogized John Paul Jones at the U.S. Naval Academy, a scholar speculates about what a present-day "TR" might say about the life and career of the Navy's earliest and most enduring hero.
On a clear, cool day, 100 years ago (24 April 1906), President Theodore Roosevelt, congressional and judicial leaders, governors, military and naval officers, foreign emissaries, representatives of patriotic societies, and thousands of spectators gathered in Annapolis to pay tribute to John Paul Jones, whose remains now rest in a striking black marble sarcophagus below the Naval Academy Chapel.1 The inscription on his tomb reads: "He gave to our navy its earliest traditions of heroism and victory," a sentiment echoed by Secretary of the Navy Charles J. Bonaparte when, in his introduction of President Roosevelt, he declared, "We have met to honor the memory of that man who gave our Navy its earliest traditions of heroism and victory."2
An American Hero's Relevance
By James C. Bradford