JJ 1 J. J. . . . The Story of the Pea Island Life Savers In July of 2007, I explored the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the first time. I had driven down Highway 12 to a beach house for the summer vacation. The environment of the open sea touched by the narrow land gave me a feeling of wonderment as I observed the coastline and its beauty. During that first visit I noted that the ocean surf was strong and the sky constantly changing. On each visit to the Outer Banks, I challenged myself to learn something new of the Outer Banks long history. It was on my third visit to the Outer Banks when I discovered the story of a unique group of black men who were Life Savers. These black Life Savers worked for the government after the reconstruction period of the Civil War and defined the standard of performance in the United States Life-Saving Service; later to become the United States Coast Guard. My history lesson of this unique group black Life Savers began at the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site. My wife and I spent the day traveling along Highway 12 until we reached the Lifesaving Station in the village of Rodanthe. I met James Charlet who was the Site Manager for the Chicamacomico Lifesaving. James shared his passion for the history of the U.S Life-Saving Service with me. He recommended the documentary film "RESCUE MEN"-The Story of Pea Island to me. James said the DVD would explain about the U.S Life-Saving Service of the Outer Banks.
JJ 2 The film begins with a quote "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." from Martian Luther King. At the beginning of the film, I was placed in the middle of a great storm on the terrible night of October 11, 1896 when the schooner "E.S. Newman" grounded south of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station. Captain S. A. Gardiner and eight others clinging to the wreckage saw two life savers swimming toward them and realized they...
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