National Maritime Day and Memorial Day

From Commander, Military Sealift Command

National Maritime Day and Memorial Day

In the coming days we have the opportunity to participate, through reflection and recognition, in two important national events, National Maritime Day and Memorial Day.

On May 22, we will join with communities around the nation to celebrate National Maritime Day. We bow our heads in silent memorial to our Merchant Mariner shipmates who crossed the bar for the final time this past year and honor the great sacrifice Merchant Mariners have made throughout our nation’s history.

On this day we also recognize the greatness and strategic importance of the maritime industry. Merchant Mariners, the shipbuilding and repair industry, and maritime companies have been essential to American economic prosperity since the founding of our nation. And in support of our national defense, it is Merchant Mariners, like our Department of Defense Civilian Mariners, who sail the ships with the fuel, supplies, and combat equipment that enable our armed forces to operate globally.

Then on Monday we will observe Memorial Day, an important occasion to reflect, consider the price of freedom, and remember our fallen countrymen who died while serving in our armed forces.

The National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day provides an opportunity for all Americans to observe one minute of silence and honor those who have died in service to our nation.

As we take time out on Monday to reflect, let us not forget the families of the fallen. They carry a heavy burden for a lifetime. We admire their courage and honor their sacrifices.

The Memorial Day weekend also signals the beginning of the summer season, what our Navy team often calls the “101 Days of Summer,” a time for vacation, travel, and increased outdoor activity. For many, these new activity patterns can be linked to increased risk. Everyone, regardless of age, must be mindful of safety over the summer. Risk management techniques should guide our participation in new activities as should a large measure of “common sense.”

Safe outcomes are enhanced with the basics: wear a seatbelt, don’t text while driving, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, have a plan when traveling, be aware of your surroundings, and look out for your teammates, friends and family.

Again, as you enjoy time off with family and friends this weekend, take a moment to remember those who gave their lives in service to the nation.

Thank you for the work you do each day at MSC and your service to our nation.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command

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