Video Courtesy of "9oh7 Photography", Seward Alaska.

Seward Mariner's Memorial Complete

Republished with permission from The Seward Journal, June 10, 2015

By: H.B. Bardason

It’s been a long time coming but finally after more than 10 years of planning, fundraising and elbow grease, the Seward Mariners’ Memorial is complete following its garden installation June. 5.

A week ago a garden installation would have been a fun way to enjoy the wonderful weather. But this week volunteers were covered from head to toe in Helly Hansen raingear and Xtra Tufs in their attempts to stay dry from the torrential rain. At times it was raining sideways as the faithful volunteers worked with limited shelter from the elements. Despite the fact that every person and tool was soaked, the workers were in great spirits as they installed blue Himalayan poppies, Japanese Barberry, Semi-False Spirea, Pink Parasols Spirea, Speedwell and other hearty shrubs and grasses to accent the new site.

Master Gardener Brenda Adams of Homer (Gardens By Design) and her crew: Joan Splinter, Mike Zopp, Craig Thomas and Debbie Fanatia brought a breath of fresh air to the Seward volunteers as they all worked together on the Kenai Peninsula’s newest mariners’ memorial.

The Seward Mariners’ Memorial originally began as a project following Seward’s Centennial anniversary in 2003. In 2006 the City of Seward donated an area of land 100’X100’ on the uplands breakwater that protects the Seward Small Boat Harbor. This project took a great deal of patience, footwork and passion to see it through and became a community and statewide endeavor to see it to completion. Now that the memorial has reached its completion, the site is home to a lighthouse that houses the names of mariners lost at sea or who have passed on after a lifetime of love for the ocean. The lighthouse is surrounded by a beautiful brick inlaid compass rose bordered by a “wave wall” that serves as a windbreak and bears the names of donors and financial contributors.

The Mariners’ garden is a well thought-out natural area accompanying the wave wall with large decorative boulders protecting the hardy plants that have recently been established at the harbor entrance. The site not only provides a beautiful location to reflect for friends and families of lost loved ones, but also offers a terrific view looking down Resurrection Bay and the opportunity to watch wildlife and boats coming to and from the harbor.

(Additional note: The garden planting also received a big helping hand from members of the Resurrection Bay Garden Club, crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, John Shank, Phil Kaluza, and SMM committee members.)


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Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony

The annual "Blessing of the Fleet" takes place at the future site of the Seward Mariners' Memorial during Harbor Opening in May.  The ancient tradition takes place both here and in ports all over the world