Proclamation 5816 -- National Maritime Day, 1988
the President of the
National Maritime Day reminds us that the American merchant marine has always been essential to our national security and economic growth -- and reminds us as well that the men and women of the merchant marine deserve our gratitude every day. The importance of the merchant marine to our national defense was never more clear than in World War II, when, at a cost of more than 6,000 lives and with the loss of 733 ships, the American merchant marine never faltered in delivering cargo for our Armed Forces throughout the world. Earlier this year, these merchant seafarers received veteran status for their valiant service.
Today, the merchant marine continues its roles in trade and defense -- and the sailors of our commercial fleets continue to exhibit the patriotism and the many skills that have ever characterized them and their predecessors. It is truly fitting that we pause to salute these seafarers and all other Americans who support them and guard the lifelines of the sea that sustain us all.
recognition of the importance of the merchant marine, the Congress, by joint
resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as
``National Maritime Day'' and authorized and requested the President to issue
annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance. This date was
chosen to commemorate the day in 1819 when SS SAVANNAH left
Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the
Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of May, in the year
of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the
[Filed with the Office
of the Federal Register, ,