CLEARWATER, FL — The nation’s first-of-its-kind underwater dive memorial honoring veterans is now open. Circle of Heroes officially opened Monday following a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We are celebrating a momentous day for our county, our state and our nation. But most importantly, we’re honoring our heroes with an indelible legacy that will be admired for generations. This treasure of the Gulf will forever remind us of their sacrifices and their service to our country,” said U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Republican from Palm Harbor.
Among those attending was Shawn Campbell, who spent 13 years in the U.S. Army as a combat medic, who was surprised to find out that his employer, Narcosis Scuba of Tarpon Springs, made a donation to have his name placed on the statue of a soldier representing the Iraqi War.
Located roughly 10 miles off the shore of Clearwater at a depth of 40 feet, Circle of Heroes is made up of 12 life-size concrete statues representing the men and women serving in the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. An additional twelve statues will be installed in 2020 to complete the 100-foot Circle of Heroes.