I am pleased to invite you to attend a virtual Merchant Navy/Royal Canadian Navy Commemoration ceremony that will be held on October 14, 2020, at the Royal Canadian Navy Monument, commencing at 11:00 a.m. EST. This observance will be ‘live-streamed’ on the Royal Canadian Navy Facebook page, and recognizes the Allied Merchant Navy and the American Merchant Marine Veterans as the mainstay of the Allied Forces victories in both World Wars. It also recognizes their contributions to the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and the important role they play in the ‘present day’ global security, defence, and to the economy.
October 14, 2020, marks the 78th Anniversary of the sinking of the Newfoundland ferry SS Caribou that was torpedoed in the Cabot Strait on her way to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland: 136 of the 237 souls on board perished. The year 2020 also marks the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, and the 110th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy.
During the Second World War, a total of 25,343 merchant ships, with 164,783,921 tons of cargo on board, sailed from North America to Britain. The Royal Canadian Navy gave to the struggle over 2, 000 dead and 24 warships. More than 900 RCAF and Canadian Army personnel were also lost. Over 2,199 Canadian Merchant Navy Seaman were killed in both World Wars. Moreover, more than 250,000 American Merchant Marine sailed the treacherous oceans of the world. Over 6,835 American Merchant Marine were killed and over 11,000 wounded. In addition, 604 Merchant Mariners were taken prisoners of war, resulting in 61 casualties within POW camps.
We would be honoured to have you join us virtually for a Facebook LIVE stream at https://www.facebook.com/RoyalCanadianNavy/. To join the online conversation on social media and share your own stories, please use the suggested hashtags: #BOA75, #RCNRemembers, #MerchantNavy, #CanadaRemembers.
I have added the following links for additional information. They are:
- International Maritime Organization (IMO) World Maritime Day
(September 29, 2016)
- Official United Nations Observance Day of the Seafarer(June 25, 2016)
- A Message of Gratitude to the People of the United States of America on their National Maritime Day(May 22, 2016)
- A Message of Gratitude to the Republic of India on their National Maritime Day(April 5, 2016)
We look forward to you joining our virtual ceremony LIVE from the Royal Canadian Navy Facebook page.
The 34th annual AMMV convention was scheduled to be held last March 24th through 29th Due to COVID-19 virus, the Maritime Conference Center, where the convention was scheduled to be held closed out of concern for the safety of their staff and attendees to their facility. In an attempt to predict the future, and re-schedule before all the dates were taken, the AMMV made arrangements to re-schedule the convention November 17 through 20, 2020. The AMMV Convention Committee held a meeting and reviewed the conditions presented by COVID-19 and saw that they may still have a negative effect on the November 17 through 20, 2020 dates and decided to change the dates, again, to May 19 through 23, 2021 to coincide with the US Maritime Administration National Maritime Day activities. We are hoping that the design of the Congressional Gold Medal will have been decided by those dates, and possibly, presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal.” — John Pitts, AMMV National President
The 34th AMMV Convention has been tentatively rescheduled within the dates of November 17 – 22, 2020. The exact days and revised agenda details will be announced as we are able to solidify them.
It is also very likely that due to the convention being so late, we will “combine” the 2020 and 2021 AMMV National Conventions into this one event. Again — details will be relayed as soon as we are absolutely sure of things.
— AMMV National Officers
Leonard Blake is a member of the American Merchant Marine Veterans who was recently interviewed by the Navy League Department of Legislative Affairs. The following story by Luke Lorenz, Manager of Government Affairs, Navy League of the United States, appeared in the Navy League publication April 14, 2020 and is presented here, with thanks!