To the editor:
As we honor and celebrate the work and sacrifice of veterans (today), there is one group of veterans that sails on in relative anonymity — the Merchant Marines.
Merchant Marines have been active in American wars and conflicts since the Revolutionary War. Mariners who went to sea after Aug. 15, 1945, serving in wartime in hazardous waters, received veteran status on Nov. 11, 1998.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt praised these seaman early on with these words: “[Mariners] have written one of its most brilliant chapters. They have delivered the goods when and where needed in every theater of operations and across every ocean in the biggest, the most difficult and dangerous job ever undertaken. As time goes on, there will be greater public understanding of our merchants’ fleet record during this war [World War II].”
The Merchant Marines were responsible for putting our troops and equipment on enemy territory and maintaining them there. Merchant ships delivered troops, ammunition, food, tanks and winter boots for the U.S. and Allied infantry, as well as bombs, airplanes and fuel.
All of this (was done) with little to no protection from German U-boats, kamikaze pilots and enemy ship fire.
Without their work, it is hard to imagine how long World War II would have continued.
Thank you, Dad, and all other Merchant Marines who served our county with honor during World War II.