Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs recently joined citizens in honoring veterans and active military personnel at the Lone Sailor Navy Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony and the Central Florida Navy League of the United States Annual Wounded Warrior Walk, Run, and Roll at Blue Jacket Park.
“As the former site of the legendary Naval Training Center, it is fitting that we now have a memorial to honor the courage and patriotic service of the thousands of young men and women who called Orange County home during their military training,” said Mayor Jacobs. “This is a way of making sure that every service man or woman that is serving today knows how much we appreciate their devotion to our country.”
Mayor Jacobs was also joined by Congressman Daniel Webster, Congressman John Mica, District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Thompson, City of Orlando Commissioner Robert Stuart, other elected officials and community leaders in the groundbreaking of the new Lone Sailor Memorial.
The monument is the 14th Lone Sailor Memorial in the nation and the first to be placed on former Navy property. It memorializes Orlando's Naval Training Center which was used for enlisted recruits from 1965 through 1995. More than 650,000 sailors trained at the facility, which brought in more than $500 million to Orlando’s economy, according to the Central Florida Navy League.
The Lone Sailor statue, created by Stanley Bleifeld who is the U.S. Navy Memorial's official sculptor, will contain two pieces – the Sailor, who stands 7 feet tall and weighs approximately 1,000 pounds, and his sea bag and cleat weighing 700 pounds.
As part of the casting process, the bronze for the Lone Sailor will be mixed with artifacts from eight U.S. Navy ships provided by the curator for the Navy in the Naval Historical Center of the Washington Navy Yard.
The monument of the Lone Sailor will serve as a reminder of the Navy’s presence in Central Florida, as well as an inspiration to those who are currently serving and will serve in the United States Navy.
A variety of photos from the event are available for use by the media and are located on Flickr.