Official United Nations Observance Day of the Seafarer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 25, 2016

Day of the Seafarer - June 25, 2016

Today – Mr. Stéphane Ouellette, President and Chief Executive Officer, Merchant Navy Commemorative Theme Project (MNCTP), expressed his appreciation to all seafarers for their historical contributions to our freedom and systems of democracy, both nationally and internationally.

“From time immemorial, the Merchant Navy and Merchant Marine have been an indispensable life-line to our global way of life. Unfortunately, the Allied Merchant Navy and American Merchant Marine are the most marginalized group of veterans in the military history of the world.”

“Given that Canada and the United States of America, for example, share dual heritage and strong European ties, we must stop relegating such important elements of our past and present to the outskirts of current day policy.”

Mr. Stéphane Ouellette, President and CEO, MNCTP

In 2010, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) designated June 25th as the International Day of the Seafarer. The main objectives of this day are to recognize seafarers worldwide for their contributions to our global security and to our global economy. This special day also highlights the risks and personal costs our merchant mariners bear while on their jobs.

The IMO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

“This year, on the Day of the Seafarer, we are once again asking people everywhere to show their appreciation for the seafarers that quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion.”

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

The Merchant Navy Commemorative Theme Project (MNCTP) is a "Canadian driven" initiative dedicated to educating Canadians, Americans, and the international community about the sacrifices and contributions made by the Allied Merchant Navies and the American Merchant Marine as the mainstay of the Allied Forces victories in both World War I and World War II.

“Bridging the gap between the present day shipping industry and its glorious and predominantly forgotten past is critical to preserving our national and international heritage. By telling the complete story, we will safeguard its historical integration into the national and international mosaics of heritage and culture. It will also educate members of the international community on the vital contributions made by the modern trade-and-travel-by-sea to international security and to the global economy.”

Mr. Stéphane Ouellette, President and CEO, MNCTP

During World War II, out of the more than 250,000 Merchant Marine that sailed, over 6,835 American Merchant Marine were killed. This is in addition to over 11,000 being wounded, and the taking of 604 prisoners of war, of whom 61 died in POW camps. Over 2,199 Canadian Merchant Navy Seaman were killed in both WWI and WWII. These American and Canadian death statistics do not reflect global losses that were experienced by other Merchant Marine and Allied Merchant Navy nations. Also, they do not reflect the losses incurred during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

On September 19, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the following statement on the U.S. Merchant Marine:

“They have delivered the goods when and where needed in every theater of operations across every ocean in the biggest, the most difficult, and dangerous transportation job ever undertaken. As time goes on there will be greater public understanding of our merchant fleet’s record during this war.”

For more information on the Allied Merchant Navies, the American Merchant Marine, or the IMO, please select:

Backgrounder

Allied Merchant Navy Promotion and Commemorative Celebrations (AMNPCC)

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