The Inspiration Behind the Memorial
The inspiration for the Memorial hit Former SEAL David Godshall in 2005. During his eight years of service on the SEAL teams, Mr. Godshall served in Beirut and witnessed first-hand the staggering loss of life at the bombing of the Marine barracks in 1983. The increased operational tempo resulting from the Global War on Terror was having an impact on the Special Operations community. After hearing about the loss of another team mate, he sat down at his computer and began doing some research. He said, “We were losing SEALs at a rapid rate in Afghanistan. I wondered how all those men, and all the other Frogmen and SEALs were being memorialized after their funerals. I found out that nowhere in the world is there a Memorial honoring their sacrifice. Now there is, right here in Fort Pierce where the tradition began.” The financing and construction of such a Memorial became Mr. Godshall’s personal mission and fund raising continues today.
A Fitting Site for the Navy SEAL Memorial
The Navy SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce stands on the beaches where the original Frogmen of World War II trained before hitting the beaches of Africa and Normandy. Placing the Memorial on the very sands where Naval Special Warfare began made sense. Mr. Godshall worked with Captain Michael Howard, a retired SEAL and the Museum’s former Executive Director to select an appropriate site. While on a diving vacation, Mr. Godshall and his son Alex sketched out the overall Memorial design. He worked closely with Captain Howard to make sure every detail was correct at every step of construction.
Creating the Memorial
The Museum selected sculptor Roy Shifren to create the centerpiece of the Memorial. Shifrin, who had served in the Army, was chosen in part due to the realism and dynamism his model portrayed. Shifrin’s 500-pound, 9-foot-tall, bronze sculpture of a modern Navy SEAL, with both land and sea weaponry, dives in front of a semi-circle of black granite that symbolizes the unity and teamwork inherent in the SEAL community. Upon the highly polished granite are engraved the names of SEALs and their predecessors in the Underwater Demolition Team members — the “Frogmen” of World War II — who have died in the service of the country. The statue was forged in a metal works near Orlando. Visit the photo gallery: The Making of the Memorial.
Dedication of the Navy SEAL Memorial
Admiral Eric Olson formally dedicated the Memorial at Veterans Day ceremony on November 7, 2010. The Memorial then held the names of 253 SEALs who gave their lives in service to their country in World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm and the Global War on Terror. On September 11, 2011, we sadly added the names of 17 more SEALs who lost their lives when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan in August, 2011. Since then, we have memorialized several more heroes. See the photo gallery from the dedication ceremony on Veterans Day, 2010.
Grants and Corporate Gifts
The Museum is also funded in part by grants and the generous support of corporations. Please click here for ways your organization can help.
The contributions and energies of our volunteers are critical to the vitality of the Museum. Please click here for ways you can get involved.
Contribute to the Collection
As the sole repository of memorabilia, artifacts, weapons, and equipment that were part of the service of Scouts and Raiders, Naval Combat Demolition Units, Underwater Demolition Teams and Navy SEALs, we are always on the lookout for items of historic value to add to the collection. Please click here for more information.