The Fort Lauderdale Council is raising funds to donate this patriotic statue to South Florida expressing appreciation to the men and women across the globe in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S.-Flag Merchant Marine, who voluntarily put their lives in harms way to protect freedom. The statue is meant to inspire youth and honor sea service men and women and their families... past... present... and future.
The bronze statue is the creation of Stanley Bleifeld (1924-2011), the U.S. Navy Memorial's official sculptor. The statue contains two pieces: the Sailor, who stands 7 feet tall and weighs approximately 1000 lbs, and his sea bag and cleat weighing 700 lbs.
Currently there are nine Lone Sailor sites: one in Washington, DC; two in California, San Diego and San Francisco; two in Norfolk, Virginia, one in Great Lakes, Illinois; one in West Haven, Connecticut; and two in Washington, Kirkland and Bremerton.
As part of the casting process, the bronze for the Lone Sailor was mixed with artifacts from eight U.S. Navy ships provided by the curator for the Navy in the Naval Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard. The ships span the Navy's history, yielding small pieces of copper sheeting, spikes, hammock hooks and other fragments from the post-revolutionary frigates the Constitution ("Old Ironsides") and the Constellation; the steamer Hartford, flagship of Admiral David G. Farragut in the Civil War era; the battleship USS Maine; the iron-hulled steamer/sailing ship USS Ranger; the World War II-era cruiser USS Biloxi and the aircraft carrier USS Hancock, and the Nuclear-powered submarine USS Seawolf. One last addition was a personal decoration from today's Navy, one given to sailors in war and peace, the National Defense Service Medal. These bits of metal are now part of the Lone Sailor.
The Fort Lauderdale Council received approval to erect the Lone Sailor Statue at the Riverwalk, west of Esplanade Park in the downtown Fort Lauderdale Arts & Entertainment District, near the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of Discovery & Science, and the Museum of Art. The City of Fort Lauderdale will maintain the statue and site after its dedication. The Lone Sailor site is available for use by all services, veterans' organizations, and civic groups for appropriate special events, ceremonies and patriotic services. Over 1.5 million people visit this area annually.