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'Lone Sailor Statue' to be unveiled Friday at Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center

The statue is an iconic symbol designed to honor the men and women of Cleveland who served their country on the seas.

CLEVELAND — A very special memorial is coming to Cleveland. 

The "Lone Sailor Statue" will be unveiled on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Great Lakes Science Center. The public is invited to attend.

The statue is an iconic symbol designed to honor the men and women of Cleveland who served their country on the seas.

The Lone Sailor will move to its permanent home lakeside at Voinovich Park next year. 

"It was great to learn that there is only 18 of these across the world. So, this is a really big deal for the city. And to see it come to fruition, to have everybody here, we are really excited to be a part of it, says Tim Burke, the Northeast Ohio market president for KeyBank, who is partnering with the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation for the event.

The statue is the first phase of a plan to unveil the U.S. Navy's future warship, the USS Cleveland. Construction of the ship began earlier this year with commissioning scheduled to take place in Cleveland in 2023. 

RELATED: Keel laid for future Navy ship USS Cleveland

"This is an opportunity to plug in Cleveland into the United States Navy, into our military, it can be transformational for Cleveland," says Michael Dovilla, President and Executive Director of the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation.

During active service, the USS Cleveland will be based at Naval Station Mayport in Florida and will serve around the world. After an approximate 20-25 year lifespan, the USS Cleveland will return to its home city to be docked at the Great Lakes Science Center. The ship will become a permanent museum and memorial to all four U.S. Navy ships that have borne the name Cleveland. KeyBank has committed $200,000 to this effort.

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