U.S. Coast Guard & Broadway cast of Hamilton Lay Wreath at Alexander Hamilton Gravesite

by Howard Sherman, Reported and Photographed
U.S. Coast Guard & Broadway’s Hamilton Lay Wreath at Alexander Hamilton Gravesite
U.S. Coast Guard & Broadway’s Hamilton Lay Wreath at Alexander Hamilton Gravesite

As part of Fleet Week New York, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton honored the Coast Guard founder, Alexander Hamilton, the namesake of their vessel, with a wreath laying ceremony at his grave, on the grounds of Trinity Church. In attendance and participating in the ceremony were Lexi Lawson (Eliza Hamilton) and Brandon Victor Dixon (Aaron Burr) from the Broadway musical, Hamilton. 

U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill TeamThe wreath presentation was made by the U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team and the National Anthem was performed by Coast Guard Auxiliary Member, professional musician and bugler, Lou DiLeo. An invocation and benediction was then given by Mother Miles of Trinity Church.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Member professional musician and bugler Lou DiLeoA Moment of silence with Mother Miles of Trinity ChurchAlexander Hamilton was General George Washington's military aide de camp during the Revolutionary War and commanded the pivotal battalion charge at Yorktown forcing the British to surrender, effectively ending the war. In 1789, Hamilton became Secretary of Treasury and crafted the effort to create the Revenue Cutter Service, which later became the modem day U.S. Coast Guard.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL 753) is the fourth Legend Class cutter and the sixth Coast Guard Cutter to bear Alexander Hamilton's name. The cutter Hamilton is a 418-foot National Security cutter homeported in Charleston, SC. This week CGC Hamilton made her inaugural voyage to New York City, as a part of Fleet Week festivities. Captain Scott Clendenin Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton“With this ship, we have inherited a legacy of service. Every day, myself and my officers have to walk by a portrait of Alexander Hamilton and we always insure that we’re living up to what he would expect of a service he created,” commented Captain Scott Clendenin, Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton.

“In the merchant trade, as a young clerk, he was exposed to the importance of having free trade lanes and being able to do all of the things in the maritime industry that are needed for a strong nation,” continued Clendenin. “It was those remarks that he made in the Federalist Papers and that he enacted as Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington, to create then the Revenue Cutter Service and then later he worked first hand on the details of our very first ships. The letter from Alexander Hamilton, reminding all boarding officers of the US Revenue Cutter Service, that all Americans are free men and must be treated as free men, is a letter that we still read in our law enforcement school." 

He continued in reference to the inclusion of the cast members in the day's ceremony, “One of the great prides that we have is to be associated with such a successful musical and share in another legacy of Hamilton come to life and it’s just amazing.” Brandon Victor Dixon Lexi Lawson and Capt. Scott ClendeninDixon Lawson and Clendenin lay wreath at Hamiltons GraveDuring its run, Hamilton has received many awards and honors. It debuted Off-Broadway debut at The Public Theater in February 2015 and transferred to Broadway in August 2015. In 2016, Hamilton received a record-setting 16 TONY® Award nominations, winning 11, including Best Musical, and was also the recipient of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The prior off-Broadway production of Hamilton won the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical as well as seven other Drama Desk Awards out of 14 total nominated categories. Dixon at grave of Alexander HamiltonLawson and Clendenin at wreath laying ceremony. The grave of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton is at the feet of Lawson who plays her in the musicalLawson speaks at Hamilton graveside ceremonyBrandon Victor Dixon and Lexi Lawson cast members of Broadways Hamilton

 U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team at attentionWreath laid by U.S. Coast Guard and Hamilton cast members at Grave of Alexander Hamilton

All Photos: Howard Sherman