Buffalo Business First
- David Bertola
- Buffalo Business First Reporter- Business First
Rear admiral Robin Graf of the U.S. Navy is coming to Buffalo as part of a week-long bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812.
While in town, she’ll visit Immaculata Academy, New York Power Authority, New Era Cap Co. Inc., a luncheon for Every Woman Opportunity Center and a dinner reception hosted by the Buffalo Canoe Club.
She’ll lecture about the Navy’s current role as well as 200 years ago, which inspires her today.
“When I talk about America’s Navy, I consider them the nation’s front line in war and peace operating on, above and below the sea,” she said. “One of the neat things about the War of 1812 is that it gives us the opportunity to educate and showcase America’s Navy, which has a long-standing history of innovation and power, from sail to steam to oil to nuclear.”
Graf, who has served 30 years, will is familiar with the history of the War of 1812. And she’s brushed up on the history in anticipation for her visit. Graf pointed out the Battle of Lake Erie as significant. “What was neat about that battle, is that Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry took on the world’s strongest fleet and was an example of expert seamanship,” she said. “We truly shocked and humbled the strongest navy world had known.”
Graf continued, “He annihilated the British Lake Erie Squadron in September of 1813 with a hastily constructed array of small brigs and schooners.” Graf added that in her research, she found a couple familiar quotes that can be traced to Perry.
She said that as his flagship sailed into action, it flew a banner that read, “Don’t give up the ship.” And when he sent in his official report of the battle, Graf said there was another memorable phrase that was coined: “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”