Living Memorial Sculpture Garden
Just outside of Weed, CA there is a beautiful and poignant art installation that is meant to remind us of the emotions and sacrifice of war. This garden honors our soldiers using large iron works that illustrate the sentiment of the tremendously brave men and women, their families and our country’s reverence to their sacrifice. If you are ever near it, stop by to pay homage and see the powerful depictions at the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden.
The gardens entrance that sits at the base of Mount Shasta is guarded by the “Peaceful Warrior”. There is no inconsistency in the message here. Those that love peace must at times be called upon to fight tyranny in order to protect what we all hold dear. Although this warrior would rather find that peace, this warrior will step forward when asked to do so.
Another installation is of a soldier with his head in his hands, at his feet lies a broken sword. It is in honor of the Korean war. The soldier sits, tormented at the 38th parallel. This is the same line that separates North Korea from South Korea.
An installation depicting four humans called “The Nurses” is meant to honor all of the medical staff that have fought so hard to keep our servicemen and women alive. The installation is set atop a river of blood.
A figure of an amputee named “All Wounded Warriors” is left to cope with the wounds of war, wounds that can be physical as well as mental.
In the center of all the installations is “The Why? Group”. With hands outstretched, the soldier is left with a pending question to the heavens. Why? At the base of the inquisitor is a falling soldier being caught by a brother.
Dennis Smith, the artist responsible for this sobering project has a few other installations on site that depict more anguish produced by war. There is also a memorial wall with names inscribed of US veterans. There is a helicopter sculpture adorning the top.
– “It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.”
Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC