Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede (left) and COL (USA Retired) Robert E. Watson, president of the Hamilton Township Patriotic Committee unveil the new United States Merchant Marines Memorial Monument. (Photograph courtesy of Hamilton Township.)

Hamilton Township unveiled a memorial in Veterans Park to acknowledge the service and sacrifices of U.S. Merchant Marines, civilian mariners who were activated during times of war as an auxiliary to the United States Armed Forces.

The monument is located inside the Whitehorse-Hamilton Square Road entrance to Veterans Park, next to the U.S. Navy Memorial. Later this year, township officials plan to unveil a memorial to honor the U.S. Coast Guard.

The ceremony included remarks by Mayor Kelly Yaede, President of the Hamilton Township Patriotic Committee COL (USA Retired) Robert E. Watson, musical performances by the Hamilton West High School Select Choir, an invocation by Deacon James Challender of Our Lady of Sorrows – Saint Anthony Parish, and participation by the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps – John T. Dempster, Jr. Division, the Twin Pines Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol and Boy Scout Troop No. 91.

“This is a wonderful and very fitting tribute to the many civilian mariners who have made the ultimate sacrifices alongside our military throughout the course of our nation’s history,” Yaede said.