BLESSING THE SEA
July 5, 2012 at 7:05 a.m.
Driving pass Gulf Bay Marine Supply Store on Main Street in Palacios, a 15-foot statue of Jesus Christ will greet those passing by.
The 24,000 pound statue, named 'King of God' is a memorial for area shrimpers, fishermen and their families.
"What better way to remember those that we have lost at sea and those who are going out to sea to bless them," said Vu.
The statue made out of granite and shipped whole from Vietnam temporality stands outside Vu's supply store.
After months of careful planning, in a few months the status will be overlooking the Palacios Harbor and Tres Palacios Bay.
"I am hoping by the time the next shrimp season opens it will be ready," he said.
When people pass away, the only way they can be remembered is by thinking of them, he said.
But he also wanted to honor those that go out to sea and fish for a living.
"I see a lot of fishermen and buy supplies from me, knowing they are going out to work, a status to look over them is how I will honor them," he said.
The inspiration for the statue began almost 20 years ago when he himself worked in a shrimp boat.
"I was a shrimper for many years and spent many seasons catching shrimp with my brother and cousins," he said.
Once, 20 years ago he remembers catching a human skull in his net.
"My brother and my cousin they picked the shrimp and when they saw the skull, they thought it was a skull of an animal. I was a little scared and hesitant,
He said he called over the radio for information to figure out how to determine if it was a human skull. He was asked to look at the teeth.
"This is a human skull," he said surprised.
He carefully placed the human skull in a box and called authorities to report it.
"I became sad because I knew that there was a family out there missing their loved one," he said. "I wanted the police to get it and find the family and bring him home," he said.
The thought about the pain my family would have if he was lost at sea was so great, he said, he thought of the statue.
Now a store owner and selling fishing equipment and gear, he sees his fellow fishermen every day and thinks of their safety when they go out to sea.
As a retired fisherman, Vu wanted to find a way to honor those who have been lost at sea.
"We can shake the hand of people, but what can we do for those that are lost at sea?" he asked.
He brought up the idea to friends and they all liked the idea, he said.
Once the statue rests in its final location, it will stand 30-feet high.
"I feel everyone should be remembered and not forgotten," he said.