You would have to have been an Alaskan in the last century to understand the importance of this photo. For those in the Lower 48, take a look at a map of Alaska. Note the Aleutian Chain extends some 1,500 miles from the mainland. South of the Aleutians, the sea is ice-free courtesy of the Japanese Current. North of the Aleutians there is no such current and the ice can get 15 feet thick. During the Alaska Gold Rush, Nome and all the boomtowns along the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers were frozen in from late September until mid-June. The ice on the Bering Sea usually ‘broke’ about the first June and one of the first ships through was the Revenue Cutter BEAR. (The Revenue Cutter Service was the forerunner of the United States Coast Guard.) The entry of the BEAR into the Bering Sea in June meant ‘law and order’ was back in Nome and along the Yukon and Kuskokwim river sheds. Today ‘law and order’ can arrive by plane.