Support Foundation Marks Veterans Day 2020 with Video Presentation Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10
Commemorates 75th Anniversary of World War II Victory and the U.S. Merchant Marine
With the COVID pandemic prohibiting large public gatherings, the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation is marking Veterans Day 2020 with a video presentation commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the contributions of the U.S. Merchant Marine in achieving victory.
The 20-minute program will be on-line at this website beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10, on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, and for some time afterward.
Rear Adm. Jack Buono, superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, N.Y., is the featured speaker. Charlie Inot, Support Foundation President & CEO, hosts the program. Capt. Richard J. Davidson, a Support Foundation director, retired Merchant Marine officer and USMMA graduate, introduces Buono. Support Foundation Chairman Dennis Schoville offers closing remarks.
With the Allied defeat of Germany in May 1945, World War II was brought to a conclusion with the surrender of Japan in August 1945. Millions of American soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guard members fought during the war in the Atlantic, Europe, the Pacific, and Asia.
Serving alongside them were some 215,000 merchant mariners who sailed the troop ships, tankers, and supply ships over oceans threatened by enemy submarines, warships and aircraft. These civilian mariners suffered the highest casualty rate of any of those engaged in the war—1 in 26 lost their lives. Among them were 68 graduates of the newly opened Merchant Marine Academy, and 142 Academy midshipmen—the only students of any U.S. service academy to be killed in the war.
Merchant Marine made victory possible
“Allied victory would not have been possible without the sustained performance of the U.S. Merchant Marine,” said Inot. He noted that Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to U.S. merchant mariners this year in recognition of their contribution, courage and sacrifice during World War II. “Without their vital service, the war could not have been waged and won.”
In his introduction of Buono, Davidson quoted President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who praised the Merchant Marine for “deliver(ing) the goods when and where needed in every theater of operations and across every ocean in the biggest, the most difficult and dangerous transportation job ever undertaken.”
Buono asked Americans on Veterans Day “to honor those who have sacrificed for our nation.” It is a time, he said, “…to honor those who have served a higher calling and a greater good. A time to honor those who have written a check that is any amount up to and including my life. And this is a day when we remember those who have worn the cloth of our nation and have served in times, alone, on the frontiers of freedom far away from home.”
Addressing the families of veterans and active duty personnel, Buono said, “I say ‘Thank you!’ You are veterans in your own right. We thank you for your service as well. You may not have pulled the watch or stood the guard duty, but your job, while different, was equally challenging. We appreciate your sacrifices in support of our veterans and our country.”
“The year 2020 has been a difficult one for all of us,” said Schoville. “We hope that in 2021, we will once again be able to host both a live Memorial Day service and a Veterans Day observance.”
By Bill Heard, PIO