Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Mayor, Cllr Tim Morrow, welcomed guests at Lagan Valley Island for this year’s Flag Raising Ceremony to commemorate Merchant Navy Day.
Addressing those who had attended to the ceremony on September 4, he said: “It is a privilege to host a ceremony to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy.
“The flag raised today commemorates the significant contribution made to our country by those who serve or have served in our Merchant Navy. We honour the brave men and women who faced the perils of violent storms, enemy ships and unpredictable waters to keep our nation afloat during two world wars. Without their bravery, we would have been starved of food and essential supplies.
“We remember the sacrifices that our Merchant Navy endure today and praise their commitment to keeping our economy buoyant with more than 90% of our imports and 75% of our exports delivered by ship.”
He added: “While many people know the 3rd of September 1939 as the outbreak of the Second World War, few are aware that it also marks the tragedy of the first major British maritime casualty. The SS Athenia was torpedoed of the coast of Ireland when mistaken as an armed ship with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.
Those in attendance held a one minute silence in memory of merchant navy veterans.