The Lone Sailor

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I think a lot of people have seen old-timey photos of Long Beach. There seemed to be a lot of sailors. Men in their crisp, white uniforms crowding The (original) Pike downtown. Women in their modest bathing suits on the beaches, or standing on the docks, longingly staring out to sea, awaiting the return of their beloved. Beginning around the 30s, Long Beach was a Navy town. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and WWII was declared, the Navy took full control of the Long Beach harbor (including building that pesky breakwater.)

So, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that there is a Naval memorial. The Lone Sailor Memorial stands in Bluff Park near the intersection of Paloma Ave. and Ocean Blvd. The original one was first erected in Washington, DC. And the sculptor created others throughout the country, but the one here is the only one that looks out to sea. It’s a beautiful bronze statue gazing over a panorama of the Pacific Ocean, and is surrounded by a plaza of commemorative bricks.

The dedication of the statue was held on December 11, 2004 in memory of the men and women who gave their lives in 1941 at Pearl Harbor. But, I think it’s a fitting tribute to the many individuals who have served and continue to serve us not only in the Navy, but in any military capacity. So, next time you are walking on the Bluff, pause by The Lone Sailor, if only for a moment, and join in his gaze as you reflect on the lives of the many people he represents…

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