‘Circle of Heroes’ underwater memorial to form artificial reef0
A unique memorial honoring U.S. veterans is being put into place just off our coast in the Gulf of Mexico.
The “Circle of Heroes” is set to become the nation’s first underwater dive memorial for veterans, and is located at Veteran’s Reef, about 10 miles off the coast of Dunedin Beach in Pinellas County.
The memorial, the first of its kind by its creators, will feature 24 concrete statues of service members in total to represent the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, the Marines and the Coast Guard.
Once completed, it will have 24 six-foot-tall concrete statues showing men and women serving in the U.S. military in a 100-foot circle on the gulf floor. A monument at the center of the circle will depict five bronze emblems representing each of the U.S. Armed Forces: The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
The statues are anchored by 2,000 pound bases 40 feet below the surface about 10 miles off the coast of Dunedin Beach in Florida. They are part of a 100-foot circle facing a pentagon-shaped monument honoring the services with bronze emblems on its five sides.
The first 12 statues have already been put into place 40 feet below the surface, while organizers say the additional statues will be installed in 2020 to complete the circle.
The underwater memorial will also serve as a therapeutic dive site for disabled veterans suffering from PTSD, depression and trauma, according to the creators. The statues will eventually become an artificial reef to help sustain marine life in the gulf waters.The memorial will open to the public on August 5 following a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony on the water. Several local veterans will complete the first dive; after that, members of the public will be able to visit the site.
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