May 29, 2009 · Updated 11:49 AM
Hundreds officially welcome Lone Sailor statue to Bremerton waterfront.
Hundreds of sailors, dignitaries, Navy officials and guests gathered at the Bremerton Marina for a Lone Sailor statue dedication ceremony Saturday, May 23.
The 7-foot, 620-pound statue honors the dedication and sacrifice of military personnel and veterans in the sea services. It is the 11th Lone Sailor statue in the country.
“We are very honored and pleased that the Navy League has chosen this beautiful site for the Lone Sailor statue,” said Cheryl Kincer, Port of Bremerton commission president. “As it stands right here, it’s going to be able to greet all of the visitors of Kitsap County and it will forever symbolize that we support and appreciate the Navy in this region, the region that is our home and our community.”
As part of the ceremony, an MH-60s Seahawk helicopter from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Search and Rescue (SAR) flew to Bremerton to honor and salute the statue.
“The Lone Sailor statue befits a town like Bremerton because Bremerton is an icon of a Navy town,” said Rear Adm. James Symonds, commander, Navy Region Northwest. “This statue that represents all the lone sailors whose feet have come down the brow and hit the pier of Bremerton looking just like that, thank you for your service. I salute you and everyone who has helped make this possible.”
The Navy League’s Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula council led a two-year fund-raising drive for the bronze statue and raised more than $260,000. The sculpture was created by Stanley Bleifeld for the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“This Memorial Day weekend, it is indeed an appropriate time to be dedicating this bronze statue of a Navy petty officer, who will keep watch over the harbor here in Bremerton’s waterfront,” said U.S. Congressman Norm Dicks. “This sailor represents all of his colleagues past, present and future for all the military branches serving in hundreds of locations. Their service is often difficult and often lonely, but they are always proud and this is precisely what this Lone Sailor statue has expertly depicted.”