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


2018 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

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

 

U.S. Merchant Marine History 

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Reserve Your Seat For Lunch

Luncheon Reservations Book Today 

Secure Your Seat Today.

Once you secured your advertising space, you will be notified to send the below information to 

support@americanmerchantmarinevmc.org with:

1. Name of your business or organization, 2. Address of business or organization, 3. Contact person, 4. Contact number and email