Belfast Telegraph

Ballyholme sand off to US in tribute to Navy Seals

By Rebecca Black

Sand from a Northern Ireland town will be sent to the United States as part of a project to commemorate US Navy Seals.

Assembly member Alan Chambers is leading the initiative after learning about the “living beach” memorial planned for Virginia Beach in Florida.

The Ulster Unionist MLA has been working alongside Ards and North Down Borough Council on the project.

The Seals — the American Navy’s Sea, Air and Land teams — are an elite special forces unit who were behind the 2011 killing of Osama Bin Laden.

The idea is to gather sand from every beach where the US Seals trained or served.

It will now include sand from Ballyholme Beach in Bangor — where the forerunners of the Seals carried out vital preparation work in 1942 ahead of the D-Day landings in northern France.

There will even be a special ceremony to gather sand on Friday which will be attended by the US Consul General for Northern Ireland Daniel J Lawton and Mayor Deborah Girvan.

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