A couple visits Miramar National Cemetery on Veterans Day.
A couple visits a gravesite at Miramar National Cemetery on Veterans Day in 2018. Photo by Chris Stone

The National Navy SEAL Museum is scheduled to dedicate a monument at Miramar National Cemetery Friday honoring underwater demolition teams dating back to World War II.

The ceremony, taking place on Miramar’s Memorial Walkway at 11 a.m., is open to the public and is expected to include remarks by Ret. Navy Chaplain Rev. Michael Shockley; SEAL Capt. Todd Perry, commanding officer of the Center for SEAL and SWCC; Ret. SEAL Warrant Officer Lance Cummings; Cemetery Director Greta Hamilton; and other local community dignitaries.

The ceremony includes a missing man flyover by Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21, the “Blackjacks,” based out of Naval Air Station North Island.

The monument commemorates the fallen elite men of the Navy’s underwater demolition teams of World War II who swam into enemy waters to reconnoiter heavily defended beaches and destroy explosives and other natural or man-made obstacles that impeded Allied amphibious landings.

The installation also honors the subsequent fallen maritime commandos who have provided defense and tactical support, culminating with those who have sacrificed all from Friday’s U.S. Navy SEAL Teams.

The UDT/SEAL Monument project is coordinated by Ret. SEAL Special Operator Chief Michael Meoli. With funding and advice from the National Navy SEAL Museum — based in Florida — the monument was conceptualized, organized, and designed by the former SEAL, seeing it through to construction.

“After attending so many military funerals for brother and father UDT/SEALs between Fort Rosecrans and now Miramar National Cemetery, I was honored to serve as project manager for the UDT/SEAL Monument,” Meoli said.

“This monument honors those frogmen who went before us who created and perfected our trade craft, those who made the ultimate sacrifice, the Gold Star families they left behind, and the inspiration for SEAL candidates yet to be trained, tested and selected.

“Etched in stone you will find our SEAL code, parts of our SEAL ethos, a chronology of our history and a record of those from our small ranks who gave their lives to protect freedom in various theaters of war,” he said.