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Act today, because of yesterday
Everyone has heard the phrase "women and children first," and we are writing you now about a time that did not happen, a story that has to do with the sea, an unresolved issue that goes back to WWII.

Now is the time to put something right, there is pending legislation,
and you can help with just your signature
 Act now, and observe yesterday's Veteran's Day today.
During WWII, women, children and disabled, elderly seamen served in the Merchant Marine along the US coast. They worked on tugs, barges, and faced attacks by German U-boats.

They seek recognition for their service, simply to be recognized as veterans. They would get the honor of that status, medals and citations, and the honor of veteran burial for the few who are still alive. They are not seeking pensions.  

Our nation has been slow to recognize the service of WWII Merchant mariners in general.  Able-bodied male seamen with Merchant Marine papers only got recognition in 1988, forty-three years after the end of WWII. The others who served afloat remain unrecognized, sixty-eight years after the war.

"Women and children?!" you say.

Back in the day, whole families went to sea on barges and tugs. The women and children were thus working alongside the men, with the same risk of being sunk by a submarine. Disabled mariners who would not have been allowed on a Navy vessel served in the Merchant Marine.
The "barges" they worked were often old, wooden schooners stripped of their masts, handsome but creaky, with old hulls totally vulnerable to submarine attack.  

How did we learn about this?

The issue was brought to our attention by a man who started his WWII service at age 10, who worked alongside his mother, whose brother died at 17 when a German U-boat sank his tug off the coast of Virginia. His name is Don Horton.

Do the right thing, sign the MoveOn petition.

Why now?

The Congress recently received two bills that would recognize these women, children and disabled merchant mariners. On October 28, the House voted 404 to 1 in favor of bill HR 2189. The Senate has the companion bill S-1361 before them now. Inspire the Senate to vote YES. 

Do the right thing, sign the MoveOn petition.

If you care about the rights of women, children and the disabled, sign and share this email.

If you care about the maritime industry and feel its contribution is too often ignored, sign and share this email.

If you care about getting our nation's history right, about telling the full story of WWII, sign and share this email.

Honor the forgotten people whose service helped get you a day off yesterday on Veteran's Day. Help those forgotten people be recognized as veterans too.

Do the right thing, sign the MoveOn petition and share this email.
More about this history on our blog.

Please help PortSide continue to help others!
In the past year, we stepped up to help others and ran a Sandy aid station in Red Hook and continued helping in many ways over the year.

We won a White House award and New York State Senate recognition for our Sandy work, and our Director won an award from the National Maritime Historical Society. The MARY A. WHALEN reached the significant age of 75 in May, and is about to become the last of her kind in the USA.

All of this while still looking for a home. We ARE resilient!

Donate now to propel us strongly into the future. Please help us continue to help others, and create our innovative waterfront educational and cultural programs.


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PortSide brought you... Red Hook Sandy recovery aid at 351 Van Brunt... TankerOpera in the containerport... Dutch Flat Bottom Fleet... TankerTours...concerts... movies... talks... walking tours ... kayak valet... TankerTime... redesign of the BoatBox Red Hook Boaters kayak container... bilingual ship tours at Concierto Tipico... exhibit about maritime response to 9/11... guides to Red Hook and more.  

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