Check out our Facebook album from the DOT ceremony HERE
The SIU made a typically strong showing for today’s National Maritime Day observance in the nation’s capital. Union officials and an enthusiastic group of apprentices from the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education – two of whom played key roles in the ceremony – were on hand at Department of Transportation headquarters for the annual gathering.
The SIU contingent included President Michael Sacco, Executive Vice President Augie Tellez, Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel, Vice President Contracts George Tricker, Vice President Great Lakes Tom Orzechowski and Port Agent Victor Nunez. Paul Hall Center Apprentice Shannon Gail Peterson served as the official wreath-tender while fellow Apprentice Charles Patchin sounded eight bells, consistent with tradition.
Hosted by the Maritime Administration, the ceremony drew hundreds of people from all segments of the industry. This year’s theme was “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.”
Speakers were (in order) Deputy Maritime Administrator Dick Balzano (master of ceremonies); Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, USN (Ret), who also gave the invocation; Maritime Administrator Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, USN (Ret); Gen. Stephen Lyons, USA, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command; Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN (Ret), assistance secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator; Jennifer Boykin (keynote), president, Newport News Shipbuilding; and The Hon. Jennifer Gonzalez Colon, commissioner, Puerto Rico.
Awards were presented to Capt. Arthur R. Murray Jr. for his service as a merchant mariner during World War II; to Andrew Bouchot of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, who saved the life of a stowaway while training at sea; and to Catherine Morrison, a real-life “Rosie the Riveter” who worked as a welder during World War II. The administration also showed a video highlighting the historic role women have played in various components of the American maritime industry.
The speakers covered an array of maritime topics. In addition to remarks consistent with this year’s theme, many also reinforced the ongoing, indispensable role of the U.S. Merchant Marine as America’s fourth arm of defense. Several recognized the Paul Hall Center apprentices and thanked them for attending.
Full coverage of the ceremony will be featured in the July edition of the Seafarers LOG.