It's a separate event to Newport's city commemoration last week.
In the 1980s a former seaman called Jim Blackborow had begun a campaign and fund-raising for a memorial, which was then taken forward by the local authority.
The council and the Welsh Arts Council held a competition for a suitable design. The winner was Sebastien Boyesen, who sculpted the figure of a navigator which tops the memorial. The memorial is made of steel, brick and concrete and stands 7m tall.
It was thanks to the local Merchant Nay Association who campaigned for the building of the memorial and the late Bert Bale whose ceaseless campaigning inspired this now annual event.
It was good to see his widow Wendy present today. She is finding life lonely after Bert's death and the garden difficult to manage. Soon she will return to her North Wales home at Penrhyn. We all wish her well.
Thanks to the Newport Council the fine memorial is more accessible. The monument was surrounded by a small wall and it was a tight fit to squeeze all the standard bearers, mourners and dignitaries into a small space. Now a large area has been handsomely paved presenting fine views of the memorial and ample space for all who wish to take part in this brief moving ceremony.
Merchant Navy Association officials and members travelled great distances to be present. It is a treasured event in Newport's year. The city has long honoured the immense sacifices of Merchant Seamen - one in four died in the last war. That's a higher proportion than the fatalities in all other services.
Among the full turnout today were the Mayor of Newport, the city two MPs, Welsh Office Minister John Griffiths, The Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, Sea Scouts and Boys Brigade plus hundreds of Merchant Navy veterans.
The Newport MN Association kindly allowed me again to read the words of "They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old..." It's a real honour and thrill to do it.
There are other verses in the same poem that could be read in an addition to the famous lines.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.