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Maritime News
National Maritime Day Celebration at the Port of Galveston
Photos by Robert Mihovil with Report by Lynda Guidry
Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Port of Galveston, in partnership with Texas A&M University, on May 22 co-hosted its annual National Maritime Day event.

A day of activities designed to recognize the contribution of the maritime industry to America’s heritage and economic vitality, including an “All Things Maritime” event, enabled Galveston Independent School District students to learn more about the positive economic impact the maritime industry and mariners have in the Galveston community.

Activities included tours of the Texas Seaport Museum, Tall Ship Elissa, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum, and Sea Star Base Galveston’s Bay Smart Express, a Search and Rescue demonstration by the US Coast Guard and exhibits by TAMUG, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and USCG.

National Maritime DayAs is its tradition, the port hosted its annual National Maritime Day Commemoration Ceremony at Pier 21 in the afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard Color Guard posted the colors to open the ceremony and the Odyssey Academy Choir (grades 2-5) performed Sea Shanty, America the Beautiful and the National Anthem. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Capt. John Peterlin III, Galveston Propeller Club and an invocation was offered by Karen Parsons, Galveston Seafarers Center.

Opening remarks were made by Dave Weathers, American Maritime Officers and a Presidential Proclamation was presented by Brian Hill, MARAD.  Rear Admiral Paul F. Thomas, Commander Eighth Coast Guard District, served as the keynote speaker.

The heart of the formal military ceremony was a commemorative wreath presentation in solemn remembrance of mariners who died in service to the nation. Six Bells was observed prior to remarks by Rodger Rees, Director of the Port of Galveston and E. L. “Ted” O’Rourke, Wharves Board.National Maritime Day

Inspirational writings were highlighted. The Protectors of Our Waters was offered by Capt. Kevin D. Oditt, Commander Sector Houston-Galveston and Psalm 107: 23-30 was read by Kelly Teichman of T&T Marine.

Port history and the background of the plaques were delivered by Leonard Hale of Gulf Copper.

Tammy Lobaugh of TAMUG spoke on the value of maritime education and professional organizations.

Cristina Galego, public information officer for the Port of Galveston, read John Mansfield’s poem Sea Fever.

A wreath laying ceremony was conducted by Dave Weathers, American Maritime Officers and  Julie Rodriguez, TAMUG.

A benediction was offered by Father Stelios Sitaras, Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church and Lisa Lisinicchia, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum director read Carl Sandburg’s Young at Sea prior to the retiring of the colors.

Galveston photographer Robert Mihovil provided the photos to Guidry News Service.  For information on acquiring images from the ceremony contact Mihovil at

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