2011 May - The USA honours National Maritime Day

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The Dieselduck
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2011 May - The USA honours National Maritime Day

Postby The Dieselduck » Fri May 20, 2011 7:01 am

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In times of peace or war, the civilians serving in the United States Merchant Marine have helped keep our Nation safe and prosperous. We depend on these men and women serving on our ships and tugs, in our ports and shipyards, close to home or far at sea, to connect businesses, service members, and citizens around the world. On National Maritime Day, we honor their invaluable contributions to America's economic strength and security.

On May 22, 1819, the SS Savannah completed the first successful voyage by a steam powered ship across the Atlantic, shepherding in a new age of maritime travel and transport. By the 20th century, the United States maritime trade was booming, fostering exchanges across the world and aiding our military at war. During World War II, Merchant Marines were critical in providing necessary supplies and services to troops abroad, while suffering an extraordinarily high death rate. Hundreds of merchant ships fell to enemy action, and nearly one in thirty mariners did not return home.

United States flag vessels and those who operate them continue to be an integral part of our military operations overseas. They support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as humanitarian aid missions and disaster relief efforts. Without the steadfast commitment of our mariners, our Nation would not be as prepared to deal with unforeseen events, conflicts, or crises. Their bravery and valor make our waterways safer and more efficient every day.

Today, our maritime industry is a valuable source of skilled employment for American workers, contributing billions of dollars to our economy. It is also a critical part of our transportation system. Last year, my Administration implemented "America's Marine Highway Program," an effort that enables American businesses to participate in improving the safety and environmental sustainability of our waterways. Our mariners' continued work is helping American industry remain competitive in the global economy, pushing us toward a more prosperous and free 21st century.

The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as "National Maritime Day," and has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2011, as National Maritime Day. I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance and to display the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


May 22 is National Maritime Day in the United States each year. This day reflects the gratitude that Americans have for the maritime industry and the benefits it brings to the country. It also recognizes ships and seafarers who have held a special place in the nation's history.

What do people do?

Many communities and organizations in the United States observe National Maritime Day in a variety of ways. Activities and events include open houses and special celebrations hosted by seaports. Some businesses may host special luncheons while other people attend memorial observances at merchant marine memorials. This day pays special tribute to the benefits that the maritime industry provides for the United States, as well as people who served as merchant mariners in service to their country.

Public life

National Maritime Day is an observance but it is not a federal public holiday in the United States.


National Maritime Day is observed on May 22, the date that the American steamship Savannah sailed from the United States to England. This event marked the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean using steam propulsion. On May 20, 1933, Congress declared May 22 as National Maritime Day. During World War II more than 250,000 members of the American Merchant Marine served their country, with more than 6700 giving their lives, hundreds being detained as prisoners of war and more than 800 ships being sunk or damaged.

In 2006 the Maritime Administration joined forces with the American Association of Port Authorities, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Council Inc, the US Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other entities involved in the maritime industry to raise the awareness of National Maritime Day and of the maritime industry as a whole.

The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation calling on: people to observe National Maritime Day by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes or other suitable places; and government officials to display the flag on all government buildings on National Maritime Day.

Baltimore Port Alliance USMMA Alumni, Chesapeake Chapter N.S. SAVANNAH

A Baltimore Tradition

Come tour the U.S.’s only nuclear-powered merchant ship and participate in the celebration of National Maritime Day!Tours and the celebration are free and open to the public. Closed-toe shoes highly recommended, and cameras are encouraged!Sponsored by the Baltimore Port Alliance and the USMMA Alumni Chesapeake Chapter.

When: May 21, 2011
Tours: 10am - 4pm
Celebration: 11:45am*
Lunch: Following ceremony

Where: N.S. SAVANNAH, 4601 Newgate AveBaltimore, MD
*Lunch is available for pre-purchase only. SeeKPChesapeake.com for details!
Visit BaltimorePortAlliance.org for more information.

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