Great Lakes ships honor Oberstar
The Great Lakes maritime community will pay tribute to Former Rep. Jim Oberstar on Thursday, according to a press release from The Interlake Steamship Company.
All U.S.-flag vessels working the Great Lakes on Thursday will lower their flags to half-mast, the company said.
Funeral services for Oberstar, who died in his sleep Friday at his home in Maryland, will be held Thursday morning.
Also on Thursday morning, the U.S.-flag laker, M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar, will arrive in the port of Duluth-Superior and receive a full, formal Interlake Fleet Salute, the company said.
The salute is two long blasts, followed by three short blasts.
“Interlake and all U.S.-flag operators on the lakes owed Congressman Oberstar a tremendous debt of gratitude, and it was our pleasure to place his name on the bow and stern of a Great Lakes freighter,” said James Barker, chairman of Interlake, in a statement. “It was a most fortunate coincidence for all of us that the nation’s foremost authority on the maritime industry also represented the largest port on the Great Lakes and its largest concentration of iron ore. It is fitting that his name graces the hull of this ship, for just as he fought for American workers for decades, this ship will, for decades to come, deliver Minnesota iron ore to steel mills throughout the Great Lakes basin and keep America strong.”
The christening ceremony for the vessel was held in May of 2011.
“I never imagined having my name on a vessel of this significance,” Oberstar said at the event. “My heart, my family’s tradition, is on that ship.”
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