KINGS POINT, N.Y., June 1, 2017 – Last week was a very exciting one for the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA).
On Monday, May 22nd, the Academy observed National Maritime Day, marking the occasion with a lunchtime ceremony to honor USMMA’s Merchant Mariners. CAPT John Hagedorn, USMMA's senior mariner, read President Trump's National Maritime Day Proclamation. "Today, the men and women who crew ships remain essential to our Nation's prosperity and security. Those in the maritime industry, including merchant mariners, promote our economic growth, facilitating the export of more than $475 billion in goods just last year and sustaining our critical defense industrial base. Merchant mariners also actively protect our homeland, serving as our eyes and ears on the seas. They serve with distinction and courage, heading into war zones, and too often sacrificing their own lives for our protection."
On Tuesday, May 23rd, the Academy welcomed the US Navy’s Foreign Liaison Office as well as 34 Foreign Naval Attaches and their spouses. The group, accompanied by Rear Admiral Robert D. Sharp Director, Office of Naval Intelligence, spent the day learning about the Academy, meeting with midshipmen, faculty and staff, and becoming familiar with USMMA’s important role in meeting our Nation’s economic and security needs.
On Wednesday, May 24th, all-hands gathered at the waterfront for a Welcome Ceremony to celebrate the arrival of USS Zephyr (PC 8), a Cyclone-class patrol coastal ship from Mayport, Florida, which was participating in Fleet Week NYC 2017. This is the first year that Fleet Week extended to Long Island by sending a Navy vessel to Kings Point. “It’s a real honor for us to officially be a part of Fleet Week New York ’17, to host a combatant vessel from the world’s finest navy,” said Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Superintendent. “It’s especially rewarding for us to host a vessel that is commanded by one of our alumni.”
On Thursday, USS Zephyr’s Commanding Officer, LCDR Cameron Ingram, ‘04 addressed the entire Regiment of Midshipmen. During his inspirational speech he highlighted the significance of the Academy’s motto, “Acta Non Verba - Deeds Not Words”. He said, “ ‘Acta Non Verba’ is not just a declaration or direction on how to perform while you are here. It is literally the recipe for success. Upon graduation you will find that your performance will be judge on your output, your work ethic, and your deeds. Your value will not be judged in your words but in your actions. “
Ingram went on to say, “Back on September 11th, 2001, while I was embarking my first Navy ship, my classmates who were on campus were also heeding to the call. They were jumping in power squadron boats and racing towards the terror that had consumed lower Manhattan. They spent the day shuttling civilians out of the city while EMT-trained cadets provided medical assistance to those in need. There was no way they were not going to be part of the response to our nation’s attack. It was their deeds that day that made the impact, ‘Acta Non Verba’. Kings Point only requires three things of you upon graduation: A US Coast Guard License, a Bachelor’s Degree, and a commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve, what you decide to do with those, is your decision. You will graduate with more credentials and open doors than any other university or institution in the world, and you will find success so long as you live by that simple motto: ‘Acta Non Verba’.”
On Friday, May 26th, USMMA held its Memorial Day observance. During the ceremony, the Academy community gathered to honor the fallen. They paid special tribute to Kings Pointers who made the ultimate sacrifice by placing a wreath at the USMMA War Memorial.
Visits to the USS Zephyr continued through Monday, groups included; the US Naval Sea Cadets, Boys Scouts, NYPD, FDNY, Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department, The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Committee, among others. In all, close to 800 guests visited the vessel while she was docked at Kings Point.
The week wrapped-up on Monday, Memorial Day, when the USMMA Regimental Band, Regiment of Midshipmen and Regimental Color Guard marched in the Great Neck Memorial Day parade. After the parade they assembled at the Village Green to participate in a ceremony to honor those who gave their lives protecting our freedom.
For photos, please click: What a Week at USMMA