The SIU was well-represented for this year’s National Maritime Day observance in Norfolk, Virginia, on May 22. SIU Vice President Government Services Kermett Mangram, Port Agent Georg Kenny, Safety Director Anthony Houston, Government Services Division Representative Sam Spain and Administrative Assistant Sheila Burton were among a crowd of approximately 400 individuals celebrating the gathering that was hosted by the Norfolk Propeller Club and the Port of Norfolk.
The USNS Medgar Evers, crewed by members of the SIU Government Services Division, served as a reception area for part of the event. Additionally, longtime Chief Steward Army Joe Leake was one of several mariners honored for his years of dedication to the industry.
The Navy’s press release covering the celebration appears below and also may be accessed HERE.
Editor’s note: For those keeping up with our Maritime Day posts this week, the answer is yes – Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby did indeed speak at both the morning event in the nation’s capital and at the one in Norfolk later the same day.
Military Sealift Command Joins Maritime Industry to Celebrate National Maritime Day
NORFOLK (NNS) – Military Sealift Command celebrated National Maritime Day, a day of remembrance to recognize the importance of the United States’ maritime industry as well as the service and sacrifice of U.S. Merchant Mariners, with participation by the Maritime Administration and hosted by the Norfolk Propeller Club and Port of Norfolk, May 22.
The dry cargo & ammunition ship USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13) hosted a reception for nearly 200 members of the maritime industry and supported a nearby wreath laying ceremony with tugboats conducting a water salute on the Elizabeth River.
“National Maritime Day has evolved to become so much more as we recognize the importance of the maritime industry to our nation’s economic strength,” said Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, commander, Military Sealift Command. “Let us keep all our nation’s mariners in our thoughts and prayers as they contribute courageously to the security and prosperity of our nation.”
In 1933, Congress designated May 22 as National Maritime Day to recognize the influence of the merchant marine and the maritime industry to American economic prosperity and national defense.
“I’m proud to celebrate National Maritime day, a day where we honor American mariners who have served the U.S. admirably in time of war and crisis, including many who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Rear Adm. (ret.) Mark Buzby, Maritime Administrator. “By delivering supplies and equipment to our military forces overseas, and commercials partners here at home and to other nations, our mariners have helped establish and sustain our way of life.”
Merchant mariners have been instrumental in supporting U.S. warfighters and were key in fighting, and winning, one of the greatest logistics battles in human history by moving and delivering supplies that enabled the Allied victory in World War II.
As the war was reaching its final moments, General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “When final victory is ours there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine.”