'Circle Of Heroes' Underwater Veterans Memorial Open For Diving
The nation’s first underwater dive memorial is officially open to the public. Located about 10 miles off Clearwater, Florida, the Circle of Heroes dive site pays respect to veterans and those who currently serve in the U.S. armed forces.
The dive site, currently made up of 12 life-size statues placed at a depth of 45 feet, is part of the greater Veterans Reef scuba diving area in the Gulf of Mexico. The underwater statues, which represent men and women serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy, are placed in a circle around a memorial that includes bronze crests symbolizing each branch of the military.
The memorial is located about ten miles off the coast of Clearwater at a depth of 40 feet.
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More About Circle of Heroes
The idea for the memorial was first imagined by local marine expert and scuba instructor Heyward Mathews almost 10 years ago. In February 2018, several of the statues were unveiled on land during a live broadcast ceremony. The statues were sunk in place during the week of July 22, 2019, and the site officially opened to the public on August 5. This dive site will be open to recreational scuba divers, and there are plans to use the site for adaptive sports therapy programs for disabled veteran divers. The vision is that this shallow dive site can provide physical and mental health therapy for veterans who participate in scuba diving rehabilitation.
To learn more about the Circle of Heroes, visit vetmemorial.org.