The first deployments to the Memorial Reef™ were of cremated remains abandoned, sadly, by their families; the very first deployment was a marine placement in the shape of a starfish.
Daniel Restrepo, a beloved young man, was the first intended deployment. Restrepo was just 13 when he was shot in a drive-by shooting, Though doctors gave no hope for recovery, the family persevered, and Daniel recovered, regaining the ability to walk and talk. Ten years later, he died. The Restrepo family purchased an entire column of the Memorial Reef™ with space for an additional 13 future deployments. Mrs. Restrepo mixed Daniel's cremated remains with concrete to create the piece for deployment.