May 22 Is National Maritime Day
Ever since 1607, the destiny of the United States has largely been decided on the seas. Of the original 13 colonies, 12 sat on the Atlantic coast, making each colony a seafaring state to varying degrees. Some of our nation’s greatest advancements depended on our ability to travel across the ocean—from our ability to trade with Britain, to our involvement in the World Wars hundreds of years later.
The brave men and women who braved the seas in our nation’s early history, from the first Mayflower crew to the merchants who spread tomatoes, tobacco, and other goods throughout the world, were the first members of what the U.S. would later call the Merchant Marine. Today, the maritime industry is still a pillar of the American economy. Maritime workers provide an excellent example of the work ethic and dedication that makes our nation great.
The Day We Honor All Maritime Workers
In 1933, Congress designated May 22 of each year National Maritime Day. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the men and women who risk their lives daily while working offshore.
The White House released a statement honoring our Merchant Marine:
"On National Maritime Day, we recognize the critical role the United States Merchant Marine plays in bolstering national security and facilitating economic growth. We honor our merchant mariners for their contributions to connecting the States, supporting our military, and cementing ties among our allies."
The DOT Maritime Administration issued a tweet this week recognizing the contributions of the Merchant Marine:
#DOTMARAD celebrates the many contributions made to strengthen our national security in times of both #PeaceAndWar by the US #MerchantMarine. #DefenseTransportationDay pic.twitter.com/Gzfy5agaPn— DOT Maritime Administration (@DOTMARAD) May 18, 2018
Being maritime lawyers, we have witnessed firsthand the struggles, the bravery, and the fortitude of our mariners. As their representatives, we gladly honor them—not only on May 22nd, but on every day we have the privilege of serving as their advocates. We gladly stand with the nation as we all take a day to honor maritime workers of all types.