Following many years of lobbying to bring about official recognition of the sacrifices made by merchant seafarers in two world wars and since, Merchant Navy Day became an official day of remembrance on 3 September 2000.

Our area, on the banks of the Tyne, has a historic link to the Merchant Navy so although there was no official ceremony this year, earlier today I laid a wreath to honour the brave Merchant Navy men and women who provided the lifeline which kept Britain alive, fed, and armed during conflicts and who still support the nation today.

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