...to those who gave their lives delivering cargo to all parts of the world during times of war.
Shown here, is theAmerican Merchant Marine Veteran Memorial Wall of Honor, and behind it, row after row of names of men and women lost.
In the background, my mom and dad, read the list of names on the lengthy walls.
My dad is a World War II veteran and was extremely moved by this memorial. He was happy to see these men get the recognition they deserved. He pointed out to me the importance of the role they played in World War II and how, at great risk, these civilian mariners carried supplies to our armed forces.
Etched in gold on granite walls, are the names of those fallen, bringing home the harsh reality of how many lost their lives.
In World War II, the official count of those killed was over 6,795, while the unofficial count of civilian merchant mariners killed at sea was 8,651 with another 1,100 dying of their wounds on shore.
Though not a branch of the American military, they played a crucial role in the successful delivery of much needed cargo and did so bravely and with fervent patriotism.
During World War II, many joined the Merchant Marines after being turned down by the military for being too young or not qualifying for other reasons.
These merchant seamen wanted to serve their country and contribute what they could to the war effort.
This National Memorial and the first to pay tribute to merchant seaman in the United States, was designed by sculptor, Jasper D'Ambrosi, but completed in 1987 by his sons, a year after his death.
It was commissioned by a group of local seamen to pay honor to these brave men and women veterans from all wars.
The sculpture shows two seamen climbing a Jacob's Ladder after making a rescue at sea.
The bronze statue sits on land donated by the city, but the $700,000 cost of the project came primarily from private donors.
At its base on a bronze plaque, the memorial reads,
"The United States Merchant Marine has faithfully served our country in times of war and peace hauling cargo to every corner of the world. This Memorial is dedicated to those brave men and women of all races, creeds and colors who answered that call to serve."
Along the Memorial "Walk"
Along the Memorial "Walk" is the Fishing Industry Memorial.
For almost a century, the fishing industry was the heart of San Pedro commerce. Los Angeles Harbor was once the largest fishing port in the country and was at its peak during World War II.
In the 1950's, sardines and mackerel were becoming scarce and brought on the decline of San Pedro's fishing industry.
In 1992, the Fisherman's Fiesta Committee planned a fishing memorial and, in 1995, a volunteer group of the fishermen's descendents and fishermen came together to complete the project.
Shown here is the bronze statue of a Fisherman and behind it the Memorial Wall.
The L. A. Maritime Museum currently has an exhibit on the fishing industry and its history with San Pedro.
In Memory of the USS New Jersey
One of the most interesting exhibits on our Memorial "Walk" is the rifle off the battleshipUSS New Jersey.
This gun barrel, shown here, is 68 feet in length and had a range distance of 24 miles.
This 16 in. 50 caliber Armor Projectile weighs a mere 2700 lbs.!! Pretty awesome, even for somebody like me who knows nothing about this stuff!!!
There is so much more to see on this stretch of boulevard. Across the way is the Fireboat Station and an exhibit of the old Fireboat #2.
And not to be forgotten, the
SS Lane Victory!!
Here you will also find the SS Lane Victory which is a fully operational World War II cargo ship. Its crew is made up of volunteer WWII U.S. Merchant Marine Veterans. How special is that?
Cruises off Catalina Island are available six times a year where you can tour the engine room, and visit the two museums on board.
These cruises highlight the adventures of the SS Lane Victory and its service in World War II, Korea and Viet Nam.
The entire harbor area is so full of history... it is really worth spending the time to soak it all in!! The SS Lane Victory is located at Berth 94 next to the World Cruise Center. Click here to visit their website.
Click on the photos below to visit the various Art Pages of