Doomed Merchant Mariners Memorial
New York, New York
When compared to the Navy or even the Coast Guard, the Merchant Marine gets very little recognition (except, perhaps, when they're on TV news evading pirates). This bronze memorial was meant to change that. Even more, it was meant to make you feel lousy about not thinking about the Merchant Marine.
The sculpture is perched on the end of a dock just off-shore. It shows several doomed seamen atop a sinking boat: one shouts for help, a second kneels in shock, a third reaches down not quite far enough toward a hand, extending out of the water, of a drowning mate (We saw a similar, although happier, statue tableau at the International Towing Museum).
The scene, according to the statue's plaque, was "inspired by a photograph of the victims of a submarine attack" in World War II. "Left to the perils of the sea, the survivors later perished."
We'd like to report that the memorial has accomplished its desired goal. But even though it's placed where there's always a line of people waiting to board the Statue of Liberty ferry, no one except the seagulls seems to notice it.