About the Navy Memorial
The Navy Memorial includes both a commemorative public plaza and a Naval Heritage Center. The plaza is a round ceremonial amphitheater paved in granite to form a 100-foot diameter of the world. Surrounding the deck of the plaza are fountains, pools, flagpole masts, and sculptural panels depicting historic achievements of the sea services. A symbolic statue of a Lone Sailor stands watch near the edge of the plaza.
Admiral Thompson observes that “to passersby, the appearance of the Memorial is not unlike that of America’s perceptions of the sea. Even though it is vast and broad and unmistakably there, you could miss it if you are not paying attention. But when you walk on to the site, it engulfs you with its scale and grandeur.”
Perhaps the most striking individual feature of the Navy Memorial is the statue of The Lone Sailor©. The work of sculptor Stanley Bleifeld, The Lone Sailor© represents all people who ever served, are serving now, or who are yet to serve in the Navy and other sea services.
In one of the two classical buildings that flank the Navy Memorial is located the Naval Heritage Center. Another work of sculpture by Stanley Bleifeld – The Homecoming© statue depicting the joyous reunion of a sailor, wife, and child – greets visitors as they enter. It is here that the ongoing work of the United States Navy Memorial takes place, and it is here that the personal links between the people who have served our nation at sea are being forged and strengthened every day, the links that unite our sea service veterans and active-duty personnel around the world.
(The above passages were excerpted from the book From The Sea.)