27 May 2005

A WWII Merchant Marine (or, if you prefer, Merchant Navy) Vet on Maritime day

"Even though it's not formally celebrated until Monday, Sunday is National Maritime Day.

It has become the most ignored national day, memorializing the country's most forgotten historical event and honoring the most ignored element of its military structure, the U.S. merchant marine.

Congress adopted the resolution creating the day on May 20, 1933, taking note of May 22, 1819, the day the steamer Savannah sailed from its home port on the first successful transoceanic voyage by steamship. President Franklin Roosevelt issued the proclamation.

Every succeeding president proclaimed it, and every succeeding generation ignored it.

It was easy to remember winning World War II but easy to forget the merchant marine, the logistical miracle that enabled the victory.

The merchant marine story is all about lessons learned on the cruel seas, of scandalous political treatment of its sailors after the war, of long-fought battles for recognition as veterans, and of a commitment as deep, and a risk at least as high, as any soldier's on any battlefield.

But the merchant marine was invisible."

Despite Mr. Felknor's ignorance of six of the seven maritime academies, you should read it all:Chicago Tribune | THE MERCHANT MARINE:

No comments: