Fallen heroes to be honored in Veterans Memorial Reef ceremony

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Eight veterans will be memorialized this weekend in the Veterans Memorial Reef 2nd annual Fallen Heroes Ceremony.

Each veteran’s cremated remains will be placed in aquatic urns weighing around 2,000 lbs at Battleship Park on Saturday. In a separate ceremony on Monday, those urns will be taken out to sea and placed at the bottom of the ocean, creating an artificial reef.

Thomas Marcinowski, CEO of the organization and a 25 year veteran of the Army and Air Force, came up with the concept based on several factors.

“I want my ashes placed out to sea, that way my ashes would touch every continent my boots stepped on,” Marcinowski said. “As I spoke to more veterans, the cost continued to increase for burials and cremation. Also, the lack of space in cemeteries for veterans was increasing.”

Marcinowski says the eight veterans being recognized served in multiple different branches and ranks.

“We’re having a full ceremony just as if the military was doing it at Arlington cemetery, to include honor guard and a rifle team,” he said.

The ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m. at Battleship Park. All are welcome to attend, but are asked to respect the families that are there to honor the veterans.

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