American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial
W 6th Street and Harbor Blvd
San Pedro, CA 90731

 



The United States Merchant Marine refers to either United States civilian mariners, or to U.S. civilian and federally owned merchant vessels. Both the civilian mariners, and the merchant vessels, are managed by a combination of the government and private sectors, and engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine primarily transports cargo and passengers during peacetime; in times of war, the Merchant Marine can be an auxiliary to the United States Navy, and can be called upon to deliver military personnel and materiel for the military.  Merchant Marine officers may also be commissioned as military officers by the Department of Defense. This is commonly achieved by commissioning unlimited tonnage Merchant Marine officers as Strategic Sealift Officers in the Naval Reserves.

Merchant mariners move cargo and passengers between nations and within the United States, and operate and maintain deep-sea merchant ships, tugboats, towboats, ferries, dredges, excursion vessels, charter boats and other waterborne craft on the oceans, the Great Lakes, rivers, canals, harbors, and other waterways.

As of 31 December 2016, the United States merchant fleet had 175 privately owned, oceangoing, self-propelled vessels of 1,000 gross register tons and above that carry cargo from port to port or more.[8] Nearly 800 American-owned ships are flagged in other nations.

The federal government maintains fleets of merchant ships via organizations such as Military Sealift Command (part of the US Navy) and the National Defense Reserve Fleet, which is managed by the United States Maritime Administration. In 2004, the federal government employed approximately 5% of all American water transportation workers.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, various laws fundamentally changed the course of American merchant shipping. These laws put an end to common practices such as flogging and shanghaiing, and increased shipboard safety and living standards. The United States Merchant Marine is also governed by more than 25 (as of 17 February 2017) international conventions to promote safety and prevent pollution.


Additional reading please visit the author of the above https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Merchant_Marine


2017 PROGRAM

Every May 22 there is a National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service with local dignitaries speaking and honoring the American Merchant Marine Veterans who bravely served their country. On May 22, 2003, phase two, the five "Walls of Honor" were unveiled and dedicated as white doves were released in a very moving tribute.

National Maritime Day - May 22 Starting at 11am.

This striking memorial, the first national memorial to merchant seamen in the United States, was commissioned by a group of local seamen to honor merchant marine veterans from all wars. At the height of World War II, there were 215,000 merchant mariners, including many teenage boys too young to enlist in the military, and men classified as 4-F, yet caught up in the patriotic fervor that swept the country after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. According to official statistics, more than 6,795 civilian merchant seamen lost their lives in World War II for a causality rate of 1:32 (the highest casualty rate of any service); 600 were taken prisoner; and more than 650 of their ships were sunk. Unofficial statistics cite 8,651 merchant mariners killed at sea, 11,000 wounded, 1,100 died from their wounds ashore, 604 taken prisoner and 60 died in prison camps.

The bronze statue depicts two merchant seamen climbing a Jacob's ladder after making a rescue at sea. The designer of the statue was the Wilmington, CA sculptor, Jasper D'Ambrosi. His creation of the original design was finished and accepted in early 1986. However, D'Ambrosi died August 1 of the same year before starting the final clay model. The enlargement was done by his sons, Marc and Michael as a tribute to their father. The Jacobs ladder was cast at the family foundry, Arizona Bronze, in Tempe, AZ in 1987. Although the land for the memorial was donated by the City virtually all of the $700,000 for the project came from private donors.

A bronze plaque on the memorial states, "The United States Merchant Marine has faithfully served our country in times of war and peace hauling cargo to every corner of the world. This Memorial is dedicated to those brave men and women of all races, creeds and colors who answered that call to serve."

About The Memorial

U.S. Merchant Marine History 

PROGRAM
Welcome………………………………………………………………………….John Pitts
President, AMMVMC, Inc.
INTRODUCTION OF SPECIAL GUESTS
Presentation of Colors…………………………………….……… V.F.W. Rifle Post 2967
U.S. Naval Sea Cadets,
South Bay Coastal Division
Pledge of Allegiance…………………………………………………………..…John Pitts
National Anthem…………………………………….…..…….………….Emma Reynolds
(Please Sing Along) Rock for Vets
Invocation…………………...Father Freddie Chua, Port Chaplain, Apostleship of the Sea
Rabbi Charles Briskin, Temple Beth El
David Jones, Chaplain USMMVWWII
President’s National Maritime Day Proclamation……………….…….…Edmund O’Shea
Chief Mate
S.S. Cape Inscription
Introductions SPEAKERS
John Pitts Supervisor Janice Hahn
Los Angeles District 4
Councilman Joseph Buscaino
LA City Council – District 15
Captain Charlene Downey
Commanding Officer
US Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles - Long Beach
David Arian
Vice-President
Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners

MEMORIAL SERVICE
CALL TO WORSHIP
David Jones……....…………………………………………...Chaplain, S.S. Lane Victory
Father Freddie Chua…...…………………………………………….…L.A. Port Chaplain
Rabbi Charles Briskin……………….………………………...Temple Beth El, San Pedro
BLESSING OF THE WREATHS………………………………………........All Clergy
RECOGNITION OF THOSE WHO SERVED
RIFLE SALUTE...…………..…….…….........................................VFW Rifle Post 2967
TAPS……………………………………………………..……Lee Seltzer, Rock for Vets
MOMENT OF SILENCE OBSERVED
BENEDICTION...............................................................................................Father Chua
CLOSING HYMN: AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
(Please Sing Along with Emma Reynolds, Rock for Vets)
O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.
CLOSING.....................................................................………………….......John T. Pitts
President, AMMVMC
* * * * * * * * *
All those attending the luncheon are requested to go to the
Ports O’ Call restaurant, Berth 76, Ports O’Call village.
Hospitality Hour with No Host Bar at 1200 Noon, Lunch at 12:30 P.M.San Pedro
Trolley will provide transportation between Ports O’Call restaurant and the
Memorial from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY