"Aimez la mer pour vous; aimez la mer pour votre pays."
America has been peculiarly a country of the sea from that magic day when Columbus sighted San Salvador. It was by the sea that men came to her. It was in terms of its hazards that they thought of her. It was the sea’s highways and its depths that were to a large extent the source of existence upon which American colonists depended up to and after their war for freedom. Its great waters even more than the frontier shaped American character across these early years. In struggle against the sea, these settlers of a new, wave-washed world grew strong. On its unfettered distances their love of liberty expanded beyond any man-made restrictions. Out of it for seven heartbreaking years of struggle they derived constant aid and at last, from borrowed strength upon it, the independence they so long had sought.