Published Friday 4 September 2015 at 10:23
The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Faryad Hussain, led a short ceremony to honour the brave men and women who kept the nation afloat during both World Wars.
The Mayor oversaw the flying of the Red Ensign outside Blackburn Town Hall to mark Merchant Navy Day.
A flag was raised outside Darwen Town Hall at the same time.
Boroughs around the country marked the event, held every year since 2000.
The event also celebrates our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 95 per cent of the UK’s imports, including half the food we eat.
September 3 is officially designed Merchant Navy Day because on that date in 1939, the first day of the Second World War, SS Athenia was the first merchant ship to be torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.
The Mayor said:
I was delighted to lead this event. This country depends on the Merchant Navy and indeed without the seafarers’ sacrifices during both World Wars, the UK would have starved and been left without other essential supplies.
We cannot forget the debt we owe these brave men and women on a daily basis.”
Councillor Mohammed Khan, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
Every town, city and region of the United Kingdom, including Blackburn with Darwen, greatly benefits from the work merchant seafarers do. It is only right that we give thanks to them by raising the flag.”