National Maritime Day 2021

Baltimore Port Alliance
Maritime Day 2021
May 22, 2021
Vane Brothers
2100 Frankfurst Avenue
Curtis Bay, MD 21226

Prepared Remarks
William P. Doyle
Executive Director
Maryland Port Administration, Port of Baltimore


Good Morning and Happy National Maritime Day.  I am William Doyle – Bill Doyle – Executive Director of the Maryland Port Administration – Port of Baltimore.

Friends and guests, it’s my honor and pleasure to be here.

I bring with me greetings from Governor Larry Hogan and MDOT Secretary Greg Slater and their sincerest appreciation for the US Merchant Marine and the entire maritime industry.

This place, Vane Brothers, is a splendid setting.

I want to thank Vane Brothers owners Betsy Hughes and her son Duff Hughes and the Vane Brothers family for providing today’s venue.

This company, Vane Brothers, was formed in 1898 – Baltimore born and raised.

The company is the epitome of American success – Love of country, hard work, ingenuity, commonsense and a real genuineness.

Beginning as ship chalders, becoming sailing ship builders, switched to steam, then to diesel – persevering through World War I and the Great Depression, supplied Coast Guard vessels, spy crafts and Liberty ships during World War II and exponentially expanded its suite of maritime services and locations over the past few decades.

I highlight Vane Brothers because National Maritime Day is a day of celebration and remembrance.

We celebrate American innovation in the maritime industry.

This day has its roots in the world’s first steam ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean– the US built SS Savannah – which departed Georgia on May 22, 1819, landing in Liverpool, England 29 days later.

It was the beginning of the end for commercial carriage of cargo on ships propelled by sail – or maybe not.

It is a day of remembrance because the US Merchant Marine is known as the Fourth Arm of Defense.

The flag of the US merchant marine reads “In Peace and War." This reflects the dual nature of the merchant marine — to support the nation’s trade during times of peace while at the same time supporting our Nation’s role in times of war.

We remember those mariners who paid the ultimate sacrifice during service as United States Merchant Mariners. Indeed, it was the US Merchant Marine that suffered the highest casualty rate in WWII, with one in every twenty-six mariners that went to sea killed by Axis forces.  This was the highest casualty rate of any branch of service.

By the war’s end, 733 American merchant ships were lost and 8,651 of the 215,000 mariners who served perished in the waters and off foreign shores.

Today, let us celebrate National Maritime and remember those who served and sacrificed at sea.  God Bless the US Merchant Marine.

Thank you



Maryland Pilots Captain Eric Nielsen

  MPA's Katrina Jones                                                                                  

 MPA's Executive Director William P. Doyle

Coast Guard Captain of the Port David E. O'Connell

Betsy and Duff Hughes of Vane BrothersCoast Guard Captain of the Port David O'Connell and Admiral Buzby​​​​​​

​​