National Maritime Day, May 22, was decreed by Congress in 1933 as a day for the United States to observe its proud maritime heritage, honor those who serve and have served as merchant mariners, and recognize the many benefits that result from America’s maritime industry. The annual event commemorates the role America plays as a maritime nation and remembers those who gave their lives in service to the industry.
The U.S. Merchant Marine have long been a pillar of the nation’s foundation, security and continued prosperity.
“I’m proud to represent AAPA in this event and partner with the Department of Transportation and other stakeholders in recognizing the important role our marine transportation system plays in our nation’s security, defense, economic prosperity and international competitiveness,” said Ms. Decas. “Our country’s history and its future is based on our being a truly great maritime nation.”
In addition to the ceremony being held in Washington, D.C., there are many other commemorations and events taking place around the country in celebration of National Maritime Day. In particular, several AAPA-member U.S. ports have scheduled events that include:
Port of San Diego, which is celebrating National Maritime Day as part of Maritime Month by hosting bus and boat tours, contests, a movie night other events throughout May, as well as raising public awareness of the maritime industry through marketing, promotions, web and social media placements.
Port Everglades, which held its annual Maritime Day-related “Keep Port Everglades Shipshape”event on May 16 and is using social media in advance of the May 22 national commemoration to raise awareness of the importance of the maritime industry.
North Carolina State Ports Authority(NCSPA),which, along with the Propeller Club of Wilmington, will hold a National Maritime Day Wreath Laying Ceremony on May 22 to honor merchant mariners. Immediately following that event, the NCSPA will hold an employee appreciation event and volunteer opportunity at the Port of Wilmington.
Port of Beaumont, which participated in the May 16 Seafarer’s Center of Beaumont’s Seaport Saturday celebration, recognizing National Maritime Day & National Transportation Week with live music, booths, demonstrations, river boat rides, a Boat Parade and a wreath-laying ceremony honoring all Navy and Merchant Mariners lost at sea.
Port Tampa Bay, whose president and CEO, Paul Anderson, introduced guest speaker Bill Johnson, Florida’s Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida’s president & CEO, during the International Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Tampa’s May 19 evening event that included dinner and a wreath-laying ceremony.
Port of Houston Authority, which tied-in National Maritime Day to highlight the arrival this month of four new Super Post-Panamax container cranesfor the port’s Barbours Cut Container Terminal. Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria also referenced National Maritime Day in her remarks at the May 19 Port Commission meeting. In addition, the port is planning a variety of employee activities to celebrate Maritime Day, and students who are part of the Port Authority’s Maritime Education program will be involved in activities at their schools.
Port of Galveston, which will celebrate National Maritime Day on May 21 with several activities throughout the day, including a morning All Things Maritime Look and Learn event that will be attended by approximately 700 5th and 6th graders from the Galveston Independent School District, and an afternoon National Maritime Day Ceremony to honor the generations of mariners who have served and sacrificed, followed by a Maritime Mixer in front of the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa at the Texas Seaport Museum.
Port of Baltimore, which celebrated National Maritime Day on May 17 at its Canton Pier 13, including tours of several visiting ships and working boats, a tour of the Consol Energy/CNX coal terminal, an impressive display of Lego model ships and other maritime-related activities, with commemoration ceremonies held onboard the first U.S. nuclear powered ship, the NS Savannah.
Port of Duluth-Superior will celebrate National Maritime Day on May 27 to accommodate USDOT Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen. After helping to celebrate the launch of the “Port of Duluth Intermodal Project” on Dock C&D, Administrator Jaenichen will deliver his keynote address entitled, “A Look Towards the Future – Restoring A Vibrant U.S. Maritime Industry,” to a group of approximately 100 maritime leaders and city/state officials at the Maritime Day luncheon hosted by the Propeller Club of Duluth-Superior.