Red Ensign flags create ‘Sea of Remembrance’ in recognition of sacrifices made

Date 17/09/2009 Red Ensign flags create ‘Sea of Remembrance’ in recognition of sacrifices made Marking the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II and the Atlantic Convoys, Merchant Navy veterans paraded in Trinity Gardens, Tower Hill, London on Merchant Navy Day honouring the 40,000 merchant seafarers who have lost their lives in conflict. International seafaring charity Sailors’ Society were on hand to plant nearly 1000 Red Ensign flags, donated by veterans, families of lost seafarers and supporters of the charity, creating a moving ‘Sea of Remembrance’ after the thought-provoking ceremony. Each flag bore a special, heartfelt message from the donor, many remembering loved ones and giving thanks for sacrifices made today as well as in the past. The Guest of Honour at this year’s service was Admiral Lord West of Spithead GCB DSC DUniv who inspected the Honour Guard and took the salute of the veterans Parade. Commodore Bill Walworth OBE RFA and President of the MNA welcomed those present and read a message from Her Majesty, the Queen. The service was conducted by the Sailors’ Society’s Principal Chaplain, Revd David Potterton who is also the National Chaplain to the Merchant Navy Day Service, with other invited clergy and faith leaders taking part. The national and historic significance of the Merchant Navy's Red Ensign was confirmed when permission was granted for the first time for it to be flown on Tower Bridge in honour of those whose lives were commemorated at the service. The Memorials in Trinity Gardens record the lives of some 40,000 merchant seafarers who gave their lives in the service of their country, and who have no grave but the sea. The Sailors’ Society launches its ‘Sea of Remembrance’ campaign each year to commemorate Merchant Navy Day. To ensure that you receive your flag for next year’s commemoration please contact the Sailors’ Society at redensignflags@sailors-society.org or call Rebecca Young on 023 8051 5950. The Sailors’ Society is now encouraging workers to mark World Maritime Day on 24 September by ‘dressing down’ at work, making a suggested donation of £2 for the privilege. All money raised will be used to support the Sailors’ Society; making this an excellent way to contribute to company’s Corporate Social Responsibility objectives - and help seafarers and their families worldwide. On World Maritime Ends Words: 274 Notes to Editors: The Sailors’ Society is an international charity that provides a personal lifeline for seafarers throughout the world. Existing to enrich and enhance the well-being of the world’s 1.2 million seafarers, the charity offers practical help, emotional and spiritual support and, when in dire need, financial assistance and family liaison through our Port Chaplains and Seafarers’ Centres. Our Port Chaplains visit thousands of ships every year, directly addressing the needs of seafarers - irrespective of a person’s belief or nationality - as well as maintaining vital links within the Ports that they operate. For more information, please visit www.sailors-society.org, or contact Debbie Osborne at Logical Creative Marketing on: 0845 345 69 69 or email: debbie@lcm.co.uk

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