This seven-foot bronze sculpture depicts the joyous reunion of a sailor, his wife and child upon his return from a sea deployment with the Navy. It's a scene repeated countless times over the years along the San Diego waterfront and in other homeports of the Navy.
Stanley Bleifeld’s Homecoming perfectly captures the magical and happy moment of reunion and is a fitting tribute to the vital role played by these non-uniformed members of the Navy team. This sculpture is identical to Bleifeld’s original work, which is a focal point in the Quarterdeck, the main entrance to the Naval Heritage Center next to the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The reunion portrayed here evokes a liberation from awesome loneliness and fear, for all the participants. For all of the adventure involved, going to sea is still plain hard work and filled with uncertainties for those who go and those who stay behind. Whole lives have changed during this separation, and great spans of time lost can never be recovered. The Homecoming is as much a celebration of success as it is a liberation from hardship. It eloquently attests to a shared sense of accomplishment, a recognition by sailor, wife and child that each has done the duty set before them. Not only is theirs the triumph of survival, it is a triumph of achievement. True, there is a romance in going to sea, but the Homecoming reminds us that some of what the Sailors brag about is really the romance of coming back home.
Dedicated: August 13, 1998, in honor of all sea service personnel.
Sponsors: The principal sponsors of Homecoming include the San Diego Padres Baseball Club, the Port of San Diego, San Diego Council U.S. Navy League, and the Fleet Reserve Association.