Christmas Greetings by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vice Admiral Land 1944
PR 2116 (W)
WAR SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION
Cleared and Released
|For Saturday PM Papers
December 25, 1944
Through Facilities of the Office of War Information
The heroic wartime achievements of the United. States Merchant Marine were highly commended in Christmas greetings extended to the merchant seamen by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vice Admiral Emory S. Land, War Shipping Administrator.
"At the Christmas Season particularly these men may feel that they are the forgotten men of the war," wrote the President in a letter to Admiral Land. "They are not. They deserve and receive from all of us, our thanks for the job they have done."
Admiral Land, in a special message to the seamen, urged them to continue their unrelenting efforts to finish the task so that in the future "Christmas may be celebrated in a world of peace among those we love."
The full text of President Roosevelt's letter, follows:
"Vice Admiral Emory S. Land
War Shipping Administration
Washington, D. C.
Dear Admiral Land:
"The men of our Merchant Marine form the essential link between the home front and the millions of men in the Armed Forces overseas. These men, although relatively few in number -- around 180,000 -- have performed an heroic task in delivering the goods. I am informed that since their first casualties, three months before Pearl Harbor, more than 5,800 have died, are missing, or have become prisoners of war while carrying out their assigned duties.
"Most of our Merchant Seamen will be on the job during the Christmas Season. For many it will be the second, third or fourth Christmas away from home on their wartime job.
"At the Christmas Season particularly these men may feel that they are the forgotten men of the war. They are not. They deserve, and receive from all of us, our thanks for the job they have done.
Very sincerely yours,
/s/ Franklin D. Roosevelt"
Addressed "To The Men of the United States Merchant Marine," Admiral Land's message was:
"For three years the mettle of the Nation and the stamina of our fighting men have been tested in a ruthless war. Long months before our troops set foot on foreign soil, the men of the American Merchant Marine had been in the fight. The dark days to Murmansk, to the United Kingdom, to the Mediterranean and to the Pacific are not to be forgotten, nor are those whose lives were given to the cause of freedom. Words cannot express the gratitude that all of us feel for the magnitude and the success of your accomplishments.
"As we enter the fourth year of the war, we may hope that our armed forces, sustained by the labors of the 180,000 men of our fighting Merchant Marine, will bring the inevitable victory to the United Nations.
"Let us pledge among ourselves on this anniversary of the birth of the Prince of Peace our unrelenting efforts to finish the task, that in the future, Christmas may be celebrated in a world of peace among those we love. May God. be with you, this Christmas and always."
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