The first 12 statues of the nation's first underwater dive memorial honoring U.S. veterans were lowered 40-feet into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.

The underwater memorial, called the Circle of Heroes, is located about 10 miles off of the Pinellas County shore. Each statue is about 6-feet tall.

In the center is a single monument, weighing about 3 tons, and features bronze emblems representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

"[The] 'Circle of Heroes]' will serve not just as a memorial and tourist attraction, but also as a therapeutic dive site for disabled veterans suffering from PTSD, depression and trauma," according to a press release. "Additionally, the statues will become an artificial reef to help sustain marine life in the gulf waters."

A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected to take place early next month.

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