Military honors will be given for the 65 lost boats and 4,000+ submariners at the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef dedication.
We can think of no more fitting memorial to these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice under the waves. These submariners will continue to serve and protect our marine environment for the benefit of future generations in the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef.
SARASOTA, Fla. (PRWEB) May 21, 2018
Tomorrow marks 50 years since the U.S. nuclear submarine the USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was lost with all hands, 99 officers and crew, on 22 May 1968. She is one of 65 U.S. submarines that have never returned from duty since 1900.
Representing more than 4,000 service members, these 65 boats and crews will be honored this Memorial Day weekend with full military honors at the dedication of the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef at 10 a.m. on Sunday, 27 May at Ken Thompson Park, 1700 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. The public is invited and many military service personnel and veterans are expected to attend.
This first ever undersea memorial will be a collection of 65 Eternal Reef balls with plaques identifying each of the submarines still On Eternal Patrol and one additional Eternal Reef ball representing those crews and boats lost in non-sinking incidents. The 66 Eternal Reefs will be deployed to the ocean floor off the coast of Sarasota this summer to significantly boost the marine environment in which these submariners served and made the ultimate sacrifice.
“We can think of no more fitting memorial to these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country beneath the waves and it’s particularly impactful that we will make the dedication nearly 50 years to the day after the loss of the Scorpion,” said George Frankel, Eternal Reefs CEO. “These submariners will continue to serve and protect our marine environment for the benefit of future generations in the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef.”
A reef ball is a designed artificial reef, specifically engineered to mimic Mother Nature and quickly assimilate into the ocean environment; new marine growth begins in as little as three months. The reef balls in the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef each weigh about 1,300 pounds and stand three feet tall.
Full military honors will be presented on 27 May, including rifle salutes, buglers playing taps and an honor guard bestowing folded flags to representatives for each lost submarine. For many, this will be the first time they’ve been recognized collectively for their contribution and sacrifice.
Dave Taylor, Past Commander Disabled American Veterans Chapter 97, will be the master of ceremonies at the dedication of the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef. Rear Admiral Thomas Logan Malone, Ed.D, U.S. Navy (Ret) will be the guest speaker at the event and Colonel Charles Caudill, U.S. Air Force (Ret), will be the officiating chaplain and offer the invocation and prayers. Students from Port Charlotte High School Naval Junior ROTC Unit will present the colors under the supervision of Cadet LCDR John Flaws.
Additionally, middle school cadets from the Sarasota Military Academy Prep School(SMA) will be at the dedication ceremony as “cadet experts,” providing guests background on each of the lost 65 subs. The 72 sixth and seventh graders are supervised by Major Alex Vanston, USMC (Ret) and Captain Terri Davis, both military studies instructors at SMA Prep. Christina Bowman is SMA’s executive director of schools.
A Sarasota-based 501c3 memorial organization, Eternal Reefs, Inc., has planned the ambitious project, in partnership with Reef Innovations and The Reef Ball Foundation. The On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef has already garnered recognition from more than 25 states, including gubernatorial proclamations from Alabama, Delaware, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin, to name a few.
Submarine enthusiasts, veterans and other military representatives plan to attend from around Florida and across the United States. Brian Lawrence, a Navy veteran from Missouri, is attending in honor of RM2 Kenneth Eugene Nearman, who was aboard the USS TROUT (SS-202) when it went down on 27 February 1944 with all hands, 81 officers and crew. Lawrence shared that his late mother dated Nearman while in and after high school in Missoula, Montana and often spoke of him, and cried, well into her 90s.
Michael Burasco, from Ocala, Fla., plans to attend to honor his brother, Nugent Anthony Burasco, who was one of 79 men lost on the USS Tullibee (SS-284) when she went down on 26 March 1944. James Jordan — who moderates the Facebook submariner group OTS at Crush Depth and served aboard on the USS Parche (SSN-683), the USS Daniel Webster (SSBN- 626), and the USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN-635) – plans to attend and be aboard his own boat to witness the deployment of one representative Eternal Reef on the reef site, weather permitting.
View a video of the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef project, including a full listing of all submarines with their date of loss, on YouTube. Find a complete list of the 65 boats On Eternal Patrol and the boats lost in non-sinking events at https://www.OnEternalPatrol.com. Eternal Reefs is accepting outside funding to support the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef. Interested parties should call 888-423-7333 or email info@EternalReefs.com.
About Eternal Reefs
The Genesis Reef Project dba Eternal Reefs, Inc. is a Sarasota-based non-profit organization that provides a creative, environmentally-enhancing way to memorialize the cremated remains of a loved one. Eternal Reefs incorporates cremains into a proprietary concrete mixture used to cast artificial reef formations which are then dedicated as permanent memorials which bolster natural coastal reef formations. Eternal Reefs pioneered the concept of reef memorialization and, since 1998, the organization has placed nearly 2,000 Memorial Reefs in 25 locations off the coasts of Florida (North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf Coast and Panhandle), Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, substantially increasing the ocean’s diminishing reef systems. Memorial reefs can only go in properly permitted locations by the U.S. Government. Eternal Reefs has strategic partnerships with the Reef Ball Foundation and Reef Innovations. The company secured 501c3 status in January 2017. Learn more at https://www.EternalReefs.com or on the company’s Facebook page.
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