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MTD Leadership Observes Maritime Day on Both Coasts

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The Maritime Trades Department has never been one to take National Maritime Day lightly.  In a first, MTD’s leadership provided remarks at two different Maritime Day ceremonies on opposite ends of the country. 

MTD President David Heindel speaks at the National Maritime Day ceremony in Washington, DC.

While MTD President David Heindel provided remarks on behalf of Maritime Labor at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) ceremony in Washington, D.C., Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Clements spoke aboard the World War II  cargo ship Lane Victory docked in the Los Angeles Harbor at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee’s (AMMVMC) observance.

President Heindel’s speech honed in on USDOT’s theme of “Navigating the Future! Safety First!” He tied the theme into a variety of topics, including climate change, work/life balance, and national defense readiness.

”When the balloon goes up, our sisters and brothers will answer the call…they will not let anything stop them from fulfilling that most-critical mission,” Heindel said on the latter subject.

Additionally, Heindel gave a brief tribute to late MTD President Michael Sacco, who passed away at the end of 2023.

President Heindel was joined at the dais by Deputy Maritime Administrator Tamekia Flack, Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips, USTRANSCOM head Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro, and Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ). Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg provided a video address.

Meanwhile on the Lane Victory, Executive Secretary-Treasurer Clements offered his praise for the Southern California Maritime Labor movement. 

MTD Sec/Tres. Mark Clements speaks at the West Coast Maritime Day ceremony in Los Angeles.

“I’m struck by the remarkable sense of solidarity in the Maritime community out here,” he said. “I note how much respect the workers command from local politicians and other high profile decision makers.”

Clements’ remarks followed a wreath-laying ceremony at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial on the Los Angeles waterfront. Speakers at the ceremony included Port of Los Angeles Commissioner Diane Middleton, MARAD Regional Director Gus Hein, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Pacific Coast Pensioners Association President Greg Metri.

Imaginably, MTD’s Port Maritime Council of Southern California was well-represented at the event. PMC member Harold “Sonny” Gage (who serves as President of the AMMVMC) acted as Master of Ceremonies. PMC President Larry Barragan, Vice President Bob Bugarin and Sergeant-at-Arms Gerret Jarman were also in attendance.

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