KINGS POINT, N.Y., May 22, 2013 – Today the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) and its American Merchant Marine Museum observed National Maritime Day. The afternoon began with a brief ceremony at Barney Square, during which Deputy Superintendent, Rear Admiral Susan L. Dunlap, addressed the Regiment of Midshipmen, faculty, staff and guests and read the Presidential Proclamation honoring the U.S. Merchant Marine for its service to our nation.
Afterward, the William Dawes Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) dedicated a tree on the McNulty Campus of USMMA. The elm was donated as part of DARs effort to replace trees that were lost during Super Storm Sandy. The tree was dedicated in memory of Margaret Corbin, a role model for equality in military service. They chose the site at USMMA due to the Academy’s history as the first federal academy to admit women in 1974, and its exemplary support of women’s equality in military service.
Following the tree dedication, the American Merchant Marine Museum unveiled a new exhibit from the Seamen’s Church Institute entitled: "Sermons to Sea-Land: The Seamen's Church Institute and the Port of New York," along with items from its own collection. The museum also announced a series of new acquisitions including a new book publication by the late Herman E. Rosen ‘44, Gallant Ship, Brave Men: The Heroic Story of a WWII Liberty Ship, that recounts a USMMA cadet-midshipman’s first-hand experience of being torpedoed and spending 30 days in an open lifeboat.
Dr. Joshua M. Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Head, Department of Humanities, said, "Maritime Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate the role of the American Merchant Marine in this nation's history. The American Merchant Marine Museum is taking this opportunity to celebrate the lives of mariners by announcing a new edition of a memoir of the war at sea in World War II called Gallant Ship, Brave Men, and by opening a new exhibit that explores the contributions of one of America's oldest maritime institutions, the Seamen's Church Institute, and its role in fostering the rise of the Port of New York."
Academy leadership, faculty, staff and midshipmen participated several other events related to of National Maritime Day. Rear Admiral James A. Helis, represented the Academy at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. and last Saturday the Academy’s training vessel, the T/V Liberator participated in the Maritime Expo & Career Fair in the Port of Baltimore. Later the USMMA Color Guard and several midshipmen participated in a wreath laying ceremony lead by the U. S. Maritime Administrator, David Matsuda aboard the N.S. Savannah. Admiral Helis who was also in attendance read a brief history of National Maritime Day to a crowd that included maritime educators, industry professionals, chaplains, and the Deputy Maritime Administrator, Paul “Chip” Jaenichen.