U.S. Coast Guardsmen here and throughout the country will celebrate both the service's 220th birthday and its rich and diverse history Wednesday.

From the Revenue Cutter Service to the Lighthouse Service, from the Life-Saving Service to the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection Service, from today’s Coast Guard to tomorrow’s, Coast Guard men and women have shaped our organization to better serve the country.

Coast Guardsmen throughout the district, headquartered here, will also celebrate their proud history and powerful future through their continued dedication and commitment as America's Shield of Freedom.

The Coast Guard, which traces its founding to Aug. 4, 1790, is a multi-mission, maritime, military service and the smallest of the five Armed Services. The Coast Guard began when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue.  The first vessel, the Revenue Cutter Massachusetts, was built in Newburyport, Mass., and home ported in Boston.

“Every day, Coast Guard men and women serving throughout the New England region vigilantly stand the watch to promote maritime safety, maritime security, and maritime stewardship.” said Rear Adm. Daniel A. Neptun, the commander of the 1st District.

As America’s lifesavers and guardians of the seas, Coast Guard men and woman have committed themselves to protecting and securing our nation with honor, respect and devotion to duty for more than two centuries. This year, the 1st District responders have saved approximately 400 lives and over $5.1 million in property.

"Whether active duty or Reserve, military or civilian, or selfless volunteers in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, we are honored and privileged to serve as members of Team Coast Guard,” said Neptun.