Being in the Merchant Marines was one of the most dangerous and necessary jobs of World War II. Politicians in Washington push for The Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2015, to recognize the brave Americans who had served with it.
National Maritime Day was established in 1933 by a joint resolution approved by Congress, in honor of merchant mariners. Every year, the U.S. President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation on the day’s observance, which President Barack Obama did last May 20th.
The United States has benefited greatly from the efforts of these brave men and women, as they took to the seas to defend their country and/or to pursue opportunities. Privateers, for example, were instrumental in America’s independence, a legacy carried by the Merchant Marine through to the War of 1812 and World War II. Merchant Mariners continue to be instrumental in protecting shipping routes and maritime security, which is pivotal to world commerce. This “Fourth Arm of Defense” has shown bravery in the transport of commercial and military goods, even through harsh weather and enemy fire.
Some citizens and lawmakers, however, want to honor the Merchant Marine in more ways. HR 563, “Honoring Our World War II Merchant Mariners Act of 2015,” is being championed in Congress by Representatives Janice Hahn and Duncan Hunter of California. If passed, a one-time payment of $25,000 will be awarded to WW2 merchant mariners – 5,000 of whom are reportedly still living.
Merchant Mariners are in some ways ‘unsung war heroes;’ they were not involved in Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebrations for years, even as over 200,000 Americans had served with them, and they had suffered high casualty rates second only to the Marines. They were also initially denied veteran status and benefits, even as their transport of critical supplies to Europe and the Pacific – braving enemy attacks from air, subs and mines – was instrumental to winning the war.
We at Kemplon Engineering greatly admire all the men and women who had served and continue to serve the United States. As a 10-year veteran of providing services to the maritime and industrial sectors, we are especially in awe of the bravery and skills displayed by all the people who take to the seas to keep it safe for commerce, or who brave it in times of war and hardship and contribute to a greater good. We sincerely hope that appropriate recognition is given to all who had sacrificed for our country.
If you liked this article, explore our blog for more news and developments on the maritime industry. You may also want to learn more about Kemplon Engineering and its wide range of marine and industrial engineering services. From welding and fabrication to precision machining, pipe fitting and laser cutting, we just might have the solution you are looking for. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (877) 522-6526. We would love to hear from you!
Chambers, Jesse. “California congresswoman seeks cash for unsung WWII Merchant Marine vets.” AL.com, 27 May 2015. Web. 06 Jun 2015. http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/05/post_252.html
“Politicians Push Importance of Merchant Mariner Bill.” The Maritime Executive, 26 May 2015. Web. 06 Jun 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/representatives-note-importance-of-merchant-mariner-bill
“Unheralded heroes of the Merchant Marine.” The Baltimore Sun, 23 May 2015. Web. 06 Jun 2015. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-maritime-letter-20150523-story.html
The White House Office of the Press Secretary. “Presidential Proclamation – National Maritime Day, 2015.” WhiteHouse.gov, 20 May 2015. Web. 06 Jun 2015. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/20/presidential-proclamation-national-maritime-day-2015