Re: Chaplains Corner
The first job I held after my discharge in Alaska was lumberjacking for Northern Alaska Development Company north of Fairbanks. It was without a doubt the hardest work I have ever done. The turnover there was heavy, with some guys leaving after the first day of this kind of work. One man I remember, though, just loved it. He was young, strong, and seemed to thrive on this grueling labor. One day I asked him what he had done before this. He said he had been in the Merchant Marine, but found the work there so hard that he jumped ship on the Alaskan coast. That is an indication of how hard the life in the Merchant Marine is.
On May 22nd of 1819 the steam ship Savannah left Savannah Georgia for the first successful transoceanic voyage, which brought it to Liverpool, England 29 days later. This event is commemorated each year on this date as National Maritime Day. The Merchant Marine is a vital part of our commerce and our defense; in WWII, they were being fired on before the US even entered the war, so they were the first in battle. At the conclusion of hostilities, they brought troops home from service, so they were the last to return home after the war.
We owe a debt to these Mariners for the very difficult work they do, because our lives would be very different without them. They move war materials that consist of everything from Tanks to Torpedoes, and from Bullets to Beans. During WWII In 1945, the Merchant Marine combined with the Coast Guard delivered military cargo at the rate of seventeen million pounds per hour! They had a death rate of one in thirty, which was higher than any branch of the military. It is for good cause that they are awarded most of the benefits afforded to Veterans today.
Scripture tells the dangers of maritime travel to both cargo and people:
Acts 27:9-10 (KJV); Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.
Ecclesiastes tells us there is no new thing under the sun - -
Pray for God to keep these folks safe, and bless them for the work they do.
And may God bless each one here -
Christ told me to arm myself. If you want me disarmed - - Molon Labe.