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Coast Guard Academy hosts advance screening of rescue movie

Hundreds of business and civic leaders and supporters of the nation’s first National Coast Guard Museum were invited to the screening.

The National Coast Guard Museum Association joined Adm. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard's 23rd commandant, Connecticut U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and other guests Thursday for an advance screening of the Walt Disney Pictures production of “The Finest Hours.”

Hundreds of business and civic leaders and supporters of the nation’s first National Coast Guard Museum were invited to the screening, which was hosted by the Coast Guard Academy and the Institute for Leadership at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Conn.

The entire Corps of Cadets attended screening of the heroic Coast Guard rescue film, which was shown as part of a special leadership training event.

“We are so pleased that the Coast Guard Academy and Institute for Leadership brought this event to New London,” National Coast Guard Museum Association president Richard J. Grahn said in a statement. “It was exciting to see their training in action.”

Community leaders joined academy cadets and officer candidates to learn how singular acts of courage and leadership (such as those featured in “The Finest Hours”) in times of crisis are not easily made.

“The challenges faced by Bernie Webber and the crew of the CG36500 in 1952, as highlighted in the film, are similar to those that will test the young men and women in tonight’s audience as they serve our nation and their community,” Grahn said.

Grahn said stories of dramatic rescues such as the one depicted in the movie will be an important feature of the museum, which is being built on the New London waterfront.

“The museum, which is now in the pre-construction design phase, will be a celebration of the Coast Guard’s 225 years of service to the country, a salute to the courage and skill of its dedicated men and women, and a glimpse into its exciting and vital future,” Grahn said.

On Jan. 21 the museum association was joined by former President George H.W. Bush and other noted supporters when it announced commitments of more than $4 million in pledges from private and corporate sponsors at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

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