UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION
FOR RELEASE AFTER 1:00 P.M., THURSDAY, MAY 22, 1941
EXCERPT OF REMARKS BY CAPTAIN MACAULEY, MEMBER OF
UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION, AT NATIONAL
MARITIME DAY CEREMONIES ABOARD SS AMERICAN SEAMAN,
NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON, DC. MAY 22, 1941.
“Today, in the western world we face a crisis which depends on the control of our seas for a favorable solution. A heartening and reassuring factor is that the most important figure in this hemisphere has a knowledge of maritime problems and an understanding of those who follow the sea usually possessed only by professionals. Through the medium of a letter to Chairman Land of the Maritime Commission the President has sent a Maritime Day Message to all Americans.
It is my privilege to read it:
‘Dear Admiral Land:
‘I am glad of an opportunity to send a Maritime Day message to the American people. Today, as never before in our history, our Merchant Marine is vital to our national welfare. I do not mean vital merely in the conventional sense that it makes an important contribution but in the stranger sense that it is a crucially decisive factor in our continued existence as a free people.
‘If we are going to keep away from our shores the forces that have convulsed the Old World and now menace the New, the job will be done in large measure by the ships and the sailors of the Merchant Marine and by the working men who build the ships and supply them. If they fail, the whole effort fails. And earnest, hardworking Americans, who spend the best part of their lives providing for the security and happiness of those they love, know that precious security and happiness depend exactly on the success of that effort.
‘I know the effort will not fail; that more and faster ships will be built, manned by trained American seamen, and that they will carry through the open waters of the Seven Seas implements that will help destroy the menace to free peoples everywhere.
Very sincerely yours,
(Signed) FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT’
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