Flag of the United States Merchant Marine. Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

Happy National Maritime Day!

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1739
May 22, 2022

Happy National Maritime Day!

National Maritime Day dates back to a joint resolution approved by Congress on May 20, 1933 designating May 22 of each year as “National Maritime Day.” The day, May 22, commemorates the departure of the first transoceanic voyage by a steamship in 1819 by the S.S. Savannah.

Following World War II, the holiday took on a special significance when the U.S. Merchant Marine transported necessary supplies and services to troops abroad while suffering a the highest casualty rate of any branch of the U.S. military during the war. Today, the day is an observance of the contributions of the men and women of the U.S. merchant marine, as well as the U.S. maritime industry and the benefits it brings to the country in terms of transportation, jobs, goods, recreation and national security.

But this year is also extra special. That’s because U.S. Merchant Mariners who served during WWII have just been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award awarded by Congress. It was a long time coming.

We’re also welcoming the swearing in of Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips USN (Ret.) as the U.S. Maritime Administrator, the first woman to hold the position at the Maritime Administration. We’d also like to give a shoutout to Coast Guard Commandant Linda Fagan, who recently became the first woman to lead a branch of the U.S. military.

Here’s a collection of National Maritime messages from across the web.

President Biden Proclamation: National Maritime Day, 2022

From sea to shining sea, whether in still or raging waters, America has always been a Nation of maritime travel. Across our 25,000 miles of waterways and over 360 commercial ports, the United States Merchant Marine is integral to our Nation’s prosperity. From helping move goods throughout the supply chain to supporting our troops wherever they are deployed, the Merchant Marine plays a vital role in the economic security and defense of our country. On National Maritime Day and every day, we honor the Merchant Marines for their service and sacrifice and acknowledge their crucial role in protecting our Nation’s security and commerce.

Read the full National Maritime Day proclamation on Whitehouse.gov.

Twitter: #NationalMaritimeDay and #MaritimeDay

Shipbuilders Council of America:

“National Maritime Day allows our nation to take a moment to salute the exceptional men and women who build, man and crew our vessels, and the hundreds of thousands more who have traversed the waters before them. In this historic moment, we also recognize and congratulate the first two female leaders to hold the positions of Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Linda Fagan and MARAD Administrator Rear Admiral Ann Phillips have broken many barriers throughout their careers to rise to the highest ranks in their respective careers, and we look forward to working closely with them to continue to strengthen the American maritime sector and grow our domestic fleet.” -Matthew Paxton, President of the Shipbuilders Council of America.

Port of Brownsville:

“Ports are essential to our economy and way of life. The Brownsville Navigation District recognizes the pivotal role merchant mariners play at the Port of Brownsville. These individuals support the safe and secure movement of goods through our domestic and international waterways. Since 1936, the port has facilitated trade opportunities throughout South Texas and Northern Mexico aiding sustainable growth to create a thriving network of industries for our families to prosper.” -Brownsville Navigation District Chairman Esteban Guerra

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