Maritime Administration News Release

News Release #: MARAD 09-10
Date: May 21 2010
Contact: Cheron Victoria Wicker
Contact Phone: 202-366-5067

National Maritime Day Honors Merchant Marines

Presidential Proclamation acknowledges impact of merchant marine contributions to America’s leadership in global marketplace

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Throughout the week and weekend, U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has recognized the contributions of U.S. merchant marines.

On May 18, during a Maritime Day observance at the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Merchant Marine Medal of Outstanding Achievement was presented to eleven mariners for their service during Haiti Operation Unified Response.

“The United States Merchant Marine also shepherds the safe passage of American goods. They carry our exports to customers around the world and support the flow of domestic commerce on our maritime highways,” read a proclamation issued by the White House on May 20. “They help strengthen our Nation’s economy; bolstering job creating businesses; and, along with the transportation industry, employ Americans on ships and tugs, and in ports and shipyards.”

Also, Maritime Administration officials are participating in National Maritime Day events on Saturday, May 22, 2010. The N.S. Savannah, docked in the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore, will host an open house. Tours of the Savannah, the U.S. Merchant Marine Schooner Summerwind, United States Coast Guard ships, NOAA R/V Bay Hydro II and others will take place from 10AM – 3PM. The N.S. Savannah is the world’s first nuclear-powered merchant ship and a national historic landmark.

In addition, a Maritime Day Mass will be held at noon at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Avenue, NE, in Washington DC.

All events are free and open to the public with the exception of the onboard lunch. Pre-paid, advance purchase tickets are required for the luncheon. Port security requires that your name – as presented on your photo ID – must appear on a pre-registration roster at the gate. The event will be held rain or shine. Ample parking is available on Pier 13 of the Canton Marine Terminal at 4601 Newgate Avenue, Baltimore, MD.

To pre-register for the N.S. Savannah open house and ship tours, contact Gary G. Hicks, President of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point Alumni -- Chesapeake Chapter at 410-420-0080 or kpchesapeake@comcast.net.

The Maritime Administration strengthens the maritime transportation system of the United States to meet the economic and security needs of the country. For additional information about the Maritime Administration including its Merchant Marine Academy, visit www.marad.dot.gov.

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