Today local Merchant Marines took time out to remember their fellow servicemen. They gathered today at Riverfront Park. Local veterans, the Coast Guard Color Guard, Ashley High School's Naval Junior ROTC, and the 440th Army Band Buglers, all took part in the ceremony. It was concluded by laying a wreath on the Cape Fear River in honor of the area's Merchant Marines who have died. During times of war, our merchant ships deliver military supplies overseas to our forces and allies. WWII Merchant Marine, Robert Pollock said, "We sailed on a tanker with a reinforced cargo deck. You could put heavy equipment on the deck. We'd carry eight PT boats over at a time and discharge them in Guatel Canal." The US imports about 85 percent of its strategic commodities critical to America's industry and defense. Nearly all of those materials are transported by merchant vessels.
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