Blue Freedom 1 Underwater Memorial in Key West, FL

Underwater memorial sculpture by Sandra Priest and Project 911up, commemorating 9/11 in Key West, FL.

Blue Freedom 1 Underwater Memorial in Key West, FL

On the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a 43-foot long American flag and phase one of a 9/11 memorial sculpture made of parts of the World Trade Center, were placed on an artificial reef and former military ship, the USNS Vandenberg. This event was done in honor of those that lost their lives, both on 9/11 and in the conflicts that followed. This 9/11 memorial sculpture is called Blue Freedom.

Two records were set with this event; the first underwater 9/11 memorial in the World and the largest American flag placed on an underwater military vessel – the USNS Vandenberg. The Blue Freedom Memorial sculptures are set 100 feet deep and the flag is located at 60 feet.

The Vandenberg is located 7 miles south of Key West, and is massive in size, extending just short of 2 football fields long and 10 stories tall. The highlight of the event, which occurred on September 11, 2021, was a U.S. Navy flyover. Both the setting of the World Trade Center sculpture and the hanging of the flag was done with the assistance of the U.S. Army Special Forces underwater dive team and Chris Green retired Army Master diver, Captain Bob Holston, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Master diver and videographer Scott Belt (creator of this video) and Captain Joe Weatherby, the President of the Artificial Reefs International. Many other boats were present on 9/11/2021 with divers more than willing to help and dive the site.

From Scott Bend, the videographer: “Special thanks to the City of Morris, Illinois, for the generous donation of the flag, and to the artist, Sandra Priest of Project 911up for donating three sculptures made out of actual slurry wall concrete from the World Trade Center. Phase one is in place on the deck of the USNS Vandenberg as the two smaller 28-inch tall sculptures shown in this video and phase two will follow shortly after as a 15,000 lb. solitary sculpture, of the same concrete slurry wall from The World Trade Center.”

Additional thanks to those that participated to make this a huge success, including:

City of Morris, Illinois,
Mayors Chris Brown & Dick Kopczick
Sandra Priest, Project 911UP
Joe Weatherby,
President of Artificial Reefs International
Captain Bob Holston
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Chris Green, retired Army Master Diver US Navy personnel,
Key West Florida US Navy Reserve
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 60, Jacksonville, FL Commander, Bond Henry, Lieutenant, Cameron Henry Florida Fish & Wildlife Randy Pekarick Lost Reef Adventures Way Down Video Productions Montanus Photography, LLC Danielle Stout Elise Kopczick Monica & Cindy Belt Also to Rich Parrish and Bill LaVan owners of Impact Environment who gave the original slurry concrete pieces from the World Trade Center to Sandra Priest to sculpt into Historical works of Art. Then to Kay Krapf who stored the seventeen, 8 ton pieces on her land until Sandra Priest Shipped them to Her Florida Studio.

_________________ #NeverForget #sandrapriest #project911up #slurrywall #worldtradecenter #lostreefadventures #KeyWest #divekeywest #scubadiving #FloridaKeys #Wreckdive #vandenberg #wreck #divekeywest #September11 #FDNY #NYPD #911Memorial #911Museum #groundzero #travel _____________________

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