The United States Merchant Marine has met our country's economic and security needs, in wartime and in peace.
On National Maritime Day, we honor merchant mariners for their dedication to promoting commerce and protecting our freedom.
From our origins as 13 British colonies, through every period of peace and conflict since, the Merchant Marine has been essential to the surviva and prosperity of the United States of America. Seafarers power the world's economy and strengthen the ties of trading partners around the world.
During World War II more than 250,000 members of the American Merchant Marine served their country. More than 6,700 gave their lives, hundreds were detained as prisoners of war, and more than 800 ships were sunk or damaged.
This year, on May 22, ceremonies and celebrations throughout the country will recognize Maritime Day and the people our maritime nation depends on.
Click here to see a 2-minute video slide show of the Washington, D.C. celebration of National Maritime Day held in 2014 and to hear the inspiring words that were spoken in memory of those merchant mariners who died in service.
Click here to read the words of Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, Commander, Military Sealift Command to celebrate National Maritime Day. Shannon talks about the history of Maritime Day and what it says about our mariners.
Industry and governmental leaders discussed issues of the day surrounding keeping seafarers, and passengers, safe at sea. From whistle blowing, to the Maritime Labor Convention, to harbor of safe refuge and seafarer welfare, this seminar highlighted both best practices and opportunities for improvement. The seminar also included a discussion of the newly released RULET program from NOAA dealing with the prioritization of potentially polluting shipwrecks.
The National Maritime Day Dinner & AMVER Awards celebrated the achievements of the merchant marine industry and included the presentation of the AMVER Awards. This year's dinner highlighted the developments in the industry, and recognized the 163 shipping companies who participate in the United States Coast Guard's voluntary AMVER rescue at sea program.
On the Waterfront: the Evolving Role of Port Ministry by the Rev. Canon James D. Von Dreele. History and evolution of maritime ministry for port chaplains and others serving seafarers, dock workers, ship owners, and port authorities.