A proclamation on National Maritime Day, 2022

From sea to sea, whether in calm or rough waters, America has always been a nation of sea travel. Across our 25,000 miles of waterways and more than 360 commercial ports, United States merchant shipping is integral to our nation’s prosperity. From helping to move goods through the supply chain to supporting our troops wherever they are deployed, the Merchant Navy plays a vital role in the economic security and defense of our country. . On National Maritime Day and every day, we honor merchant seamen for their service and sacrifice and recognize their crucial role in protecting our nation’s security and commerce.

Today, our merchant navy remains inextricably linked to our national and economic security and competitiveness. The legacy of perseverance and dedication of merchant seafarers is carried on by today’s civilian seafarers. As tyranny and violence again cause the tragic loss of innocent life and senseless destruction in Europe, our Merchant Seamen have answered the call of duty by outfitting the ships of our United States Ready Reserve, moving military cargo vital to help the Ukrainian people in their defense of freedom.

We also salute the remarkable efforts of our entire maritime industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They put the welfare of the American people first, risking their lives to ensure that critical shipments of medical supplies and personal protective equipment are delivered to those in need across our country.

As we continue to build a better America, our Merchant Navy plays a central role in securing our coastal and inland waterways so they are open for commerce. No matter the difficulties, sailors ensure smooth passage for America’s essential national cargoes and serve as stewards of our nation’s trade gateways with the rest of the world. My administration maintains its steadfast support for the United States merchant navy, as well as the Jones Act, which protects the integrity of our national maritime industry, supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and provides more than $150 billion in economic benefits.

We also know that the future success of the vital maritime industry depends on its ability to attract talent from all Americans and reflect the diversity of the Nation it serves. That is why we are determined to continue the urgent work of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the ranks of the Merchant Navy and to end sexual assault, sexual harassment and bullying. At work.

Our Nation’s Merchant Seamen serve with honor and integrity every day. Today, we recognize their service and sacrifice and commit to fulfilling the promises and uplifting the values ​​they continue to protect.

Congress, by joint resolution approved on May 20, 1933, designated May 22 of each year as “National Maritime Day” to commemorate the first transoceanic voyage by steamship in 1819 by the SS Savannah. By this resolution, Congress authorized and directed the President to issue a proclamation annually calling for its proper observance. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress on this day.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the May 22, 2022 as National Maritime Day. I call on all Americans to observe this day and celebrate the United States merchant navy and maritime industry with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have affixed my signature this twentieth day of May of the year of grace two thousand and twenty-two and of the independence of the United States of America on the two hundred and forty-six.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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