U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
The United States Navy Memorial Foundation honors the sea services . . . Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines.
The overview video shown above, provides a brief look at services offered by the Foundation and key features of the Memorial, including the Lone Sailor statue, the Memorial Plaza, Granite Sea, and the Naval Heritage Center.
The Navy Memorial includes both a commemorative public plaza and a Naval Heritage Center. The plaza is a round ceremonial amphitheater paved in granite to form a 100-foot diameter map of the world.
Surrounding the deck of the plaza are fountains, pools, flagpole masts, and sculptural panels depicting historic achievements of the sea services.
A symbolic statue of a Lone Sailor stands watch near the edge of the plaza. The bronze sculpture was created in 1987 by Stanley Bleifeld and was modeled on then Petty Officer 1st Class Dan Maloney. The name of the lone sailor as read on the seabag is William Thompson.
As part of the casting process, the bronze for The Lone Sailor was mixed with artifacts from eight U.S. Navy ships, provided by the Naval Historical Center.
There are 12 Lone Sailor copies at memorials throughout the U.S., including one at Bremerton Marina, here in Washington State. There is a breathtakingly beautiful large photograph of it by Chris Davies at the bottom of this page.
The Blessing of the Fleets
Passed down through generations of mariners and navies around the world, the annual Blessing of the Fleets tradition is held at the United States Navy Memorial every April and is part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
The centuries-old “Blessing of the Fleets” ceremony is intended to safeguard crews and ships from the danger of the seas through a traditional blessing given by a clergyman at the water’s edge.
The Blessing of the Fleets’ highlight occurs when Sailors from the U.S. Navy’s Ceremonial Guard proceed across the Memorial Plaza’s “Granite Sea” to pour water from the Seven Seas and the Great Lakes into the surrounding fountains, “charging” them to life and ushering in the spring season. Ceremonial music is provided by the U.S. Navy Band.
The U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation is 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which doesn’t receive any funds from the federal government or the Navy. It is completely reliant on private sector corporate and public donations.
Seabacs is proud to raise awareness of the U.S. Navy Memorial, and the Foundation that maintains it, to help encourage donations for its continued operation as well as raising awareness of the memorial statues that were made possible in Washington State because of the Foundation’s original efforts.
Washington State Memorials
The Homecoming is a statue expressing the joy of reunion between a family when the sailor returns from a long period at sea. The statue honors the sacrifices made by families and members of all the sea services during long separations.
A replica of The Homecoming statue was dedicated in Kirkland, Washington on July 4, 2001. The statue overlooks Puget Sound from its location in Marina Park. The Homecoming is dedicated to Navy families, and is Kirkland’s “heartwarming expression” of family unity. Kirkland is also called “the city of outdoor statues” so The Homecoming is also a participant of the city’s artistic expression.
The Homecoming statue was sponsored solely by donations from local businesses and individuals who wanted to express their appreciation to the families “who also serve.”
The Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League of the United States dedicated the statue and turned the memorial over to the Port of Bremerton on May 23, 2009.
The photographer, Chris Davies, lives on the Bremerton Marina and enjoys photography as a hobby. He recently took these photos of the Lone Sailor Statue using a process known as a 5 shot bracket which combines the photos into one and darkens the light areas while lightening the dark areas. From that process the following stunning portrait of the Bremerton Lone Sailor Statue was created.
As a historical note, Chris once served aboard the USS Turner Joy DD-951,
now permanently moored at the Marina.