'Unsung war heroes' remembered in Halifax

Canada's merchant mariners were honoured Saturday when a plaque was unveiled in Halifax for their contribution to the war

Canada's merchant mariners were honoured Saturday in Halifax during a ceremony to unveil a plaque commemorating their effort in the Second World War.

More than 4,000 ships carrying munitions and supplies sailed from Halifax Harbour in 1942 alone, en route to Europe.

Close to 12,000 Canadians served in the merchant navy, and 1,100 died while on duty.

"Today we remember and honour our fellow merchant seamen of the merchant navy by recognizing their valiant efforts and sacrifices, and those who died in the support of their country," said veteran Earle Wagner.

Merchant marine veterans say they deserve recognition and compensation for their efforts.

"This plaque represents for us, the recognition that merchant seamen... sought for all these years," said merchant navy veteran Aurele Ferlatte.

The plaque will be displayed at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Tory MP Elsie Wayne says now the veterans have the respect they deserve.

"It wasn't a matter of compensation as such, it was a matter of recognition that the government here recognized them as the fourth arm of the armed forces, and now that now finally been done," said Wayne.

Last year the federal government provided a $50 million compensation package for merchant navy veterans.