Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In Memory of Mariners Lost at Sea; Golden Isles Maritime Club Holds Annual Tribute to Merchant Seamen

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In Memory of Mariners Lost at Sea; Golden Isles Maritime Club Holds Annual Tribute to Merchant Seamen

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

ST. SIMONS ISLAND | Just after noon Friday, a wreath splashed into St. Simons Sound a few miles east of the Port of Brunswick in memory of the mariners who never made it back to the nation's harbors.

The Golden Isles Maritime Club observed its annual Maritime Day at noon to celebrate the nation's pride in its Merchant Marine services and to remember those lost at sea.

As club member George Yarborough tolled a ship's bell, Robert L. Franklin and his wife, Chris, dropped the red-white-and-blue wreath into the ocean.

Franklin, also a club member, is a career investment banker, but he served as a trustee of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy from 1994 until 1999.

"My duty today," he told the small crowd of celebrants, "is to celebrate our pride."

"The United States Merchant Marine powers the world's largest economy and strengthens our ties with trading partners around the world, all while supporting our military forces by shipping troops and suppliers wherever they need to go," he said.

He also told the crowd that Brunswick's geographic location as the westernmost port on the Eastern seaboard gives it an advantage by saving rail and highway miles for shippers.

"We stand today so far west that the entire mainland of the continent of South America is east of Brunswick," he said. "Brunswick is really in the U. …

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