In recognition of the vital role that our merchants and seamen play in Key West’s history, culture, and economy, Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission proclaimed May 22nd Maritime Day during this week's meeting.
In times of war and peace, the American Merchant Marine has been dedicated to the orderly flow of goods and materials to and from the shores of our nation.
May 22nd marks the anniversary of the day the SS Savannah sailed from U.S. shores in 1819 to Liverpool on the first successful crossing of the Atlantic by a ship using steam propulsion.
“Each year on this day,” reads the proclamation, “men and women from all our United States currently serving in the American Merchant Marine are honored, along with those who served with such dedication and valor and those many seamen who lost their lives in our wars and conflict.”
Propeller Club Port of Key West President Ron Demes accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Propeller Club and the Maritime Historical Society.
Key West each year pays homage to the 250,000 merchant mariners who served in WWII, 6500 of whom lost their lives. Hundreds were prisoners of war. Over 800 ships were sunk or severely damaged.
On May 22, 2023, said Demes, members of the Propellor Club, will lay a wreath on the sea to honor the lives lost.