Harbor Springs, Michigan, USA
May 07
Illustrator, Book Designer, Writer
Janice Phelps Williams is a book designer, illustrator, and writer. Learn about services for authors and publishers, as well as her artwork and books at www.janicephelps.com.


MAY 26, 2012 5:42PM

How We Remember Together: Public Memorials

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For several years I have been interested in public memorials and how an artist, working with a community, implements his or her vision to permanently honor a specific person or event. On this Memorial Day 2012, I offer a few links, paragraphs, and photos of public memorials.
Franklin Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC
“They (who) seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers… call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.”

Depression-era Memorial, Bread Line. Located in the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. 
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." -FDR

Naval Aviation Monument Park in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Korean War Memorial, Washington, DC

Designed by Frank Gaylord,[4] each larger than life-size, between 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 m) and 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 m) tall; each weighs nearly 1,000 pounds (500 kg). The figures represent a squad on patrol, drawn from each branch of the armed forces; fourteen of the figures are from the U.S. Army, three are from the Marine Corps, one is a Navy Corpsman, and one is an Air Force Forward Air Observer. They are dressed in full combat gear, dispersed among strips of granite and juniper bushes which represent the rugged terrain of Korea.[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War_Veterans_Memorial

Great Hunger Memorial, Westchester, New York

The Great Hunger Memorial was unveiled on June 24, 2001 at V.E. Macy Park in Ardsley to commemorate the suffering of millions of Irish peasants who died from the potato famine or were forced to leave their country.
The monument’s sculptor was Eamonn O’Doherty of Ireland.

Figures of Grief and History on the Peace Monument, Washington, DC


“The Nurse” by Roger Brodin, purchased by the Wisconsin Chapters of the Vietnam Veterans of America. The Highground, Neillsville, WI

Here is a link to a beautiful stone wall (I love stone walls) created by Tom Hendrix just south of the Tennessee-Alabama border. It is a memorial to his great-great-grandmother Te-lah-nay, a Native American evicted from her homeland at age 14 in The Trail of Tears.

National Japanese American Memorial Foundation
Japanese Crane Monument at the National Japanese American Memorial (Washington, D. C.), a bronze sculpture by Nina Akamu
(Note: I just finished reading “Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka. I think it is a wonderful literary memorial to those Japanese Americans interned during WWII.)

Here is the “Manila American Cemetery and Memorial” There are 17,206 military dead in the cemetery there. There are 2 hemicycles containing 24 pairs of fin walls. On the faces are inscribed the 36,279 missing in action military personnel. 
American Battle Monuments Commission

The Women of World War Two Memorial stands next to the Cenotaph in Whitehall and was sculpted by John Mills who was also responsible for the fire fighters memorial outside of St Paul's Cathedral. The memorial deliberately does not depict any individual women and is a tribute to all seven million who contributed to the war effort.  

The Sculpture of Love and Anguish: Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach by Kenneth Treister, dedicated Feb. 1990

A slideshow of Holocaust Memorials from around the world.

Help build the Military Working dog Teams National Monument: Saluting dogs who have served since WWII. http://www.jbmf.us/
Whistler’s Mother memorial in Pennsylvania. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2195

Between Oct. 1939 and August 1941, 70,273 German and Austrian physically or mentally impaired patients were killed under Adolf Hitler’s orders (Action T4)

A plaque set in the pavement at No 4 Tiergartenstrasse commemorates the victims of the Nazi "euthanasia" program. Photo by w:en:User:Adam Carr, May 2006

For the above and the Pennhurst Memorial below, this photograph from those the Nazis killed says it all and represents a memorial of sorts as well.

Worth thinking about: The Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance
Fundraising campaign for the Harvey Pekar (author of “American Splendor”) memorial at the Cleveland Heights library.

Appeal to the Great Spirit, outside of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Sculptor Cyrus E. Dallin, 1909.

Fallen Astronaut is an 8.5 cm (slightly over 3") aluminium sculpture of an astronaut in a spacesuit which commemorates astronauts and cosmonauts who died in the advancement of space exploration. It is currently at Hadley Rille on the Moon, having been placed there by the crew of Apollo 15 on August 1, 1971.

The Gardener
Depth 5m, MUSA Collection, Punta Nizuc, Mexico.
Jason de Caires Taylor is the creator of the world's first underwater sculpture park located in Moilinere Bay, Grenada. The sculptures are located in a clear shallow waterway providing ideal access for divers, snorkelers and glass bottom boats.
His sculptures have created artificial reefs, and explore the relationship between modern art and the environment. http://www.underwatersculpture.com/
See additional memorials at my next post here:

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Thank you for a spectacular post capturing the spirit of the day and honoring all those who deserve to be remembered and honored.
Janice,Ι have studied in the university how ρublic monuments contribute as a history memento to all of us and we all meet in this ρast and feeling community.Your writing here reminded me of the ρaρers I did for the exams and this indeed is an excellent work.And to add in your thinking memorial history is a world-wide history teaching.There is no country without war and ρeace structures.So rated!!!!Great and useful work!!!!
Amazing and beautiful and sad all rolled together. Your links are amazing!
My favorite is the firefighters' memorial in Riverside Park in NYC. After 9/11 it was the one place I went to pay my respects to the hundreds of firefighters who died. It became covered with flowers. A place to go, a place to remember. Beautiful post. /R
Thank you Fusun, Stathi, Lunchlady2, and nilesite, for your comments. Nilesite, I'm glad you mentioned the firefighters memorial. I looked it up and it is lovely and I can see why it is meaningful to go there. Here is the link, folks. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/riversidepark/highlights/12921

I wanted to put in more memorials, and may still yet. This is a subject I could get lost in. Stathi, how cool that you studied this on a university level. I really appreciated your comment.
This is a great collection of photographs! I am not familiar with the Peace Monument in Washington, but will now have to check it out. ~r
This a truely wonderful piece. I can easily see why LL2 recommended it for a Readers' Pick award. I most certainly concur.
What a profoundly moving collection of memorials! And I can honestly say this is the first time I have laid eyes on any of them. Terrific post for this Memorial Day.

Excellent post!!! Rated!! And Tink Picked!!
Thank you for taking the time to stop by my post.

Joan H.: I'd never heard of the Peace Memorial either. There were more mythological (allegorical?) references and figures on this memorial, so might be worth a look to the link.

I had never seen most of these before either. I had seen photos of the Korean War memorial and to me it is the most moving of all I've come across thus far. In second place, in my mind, is the British sculpture for women who served in WWII; their clothing from the various branches. I found it online a few years ago then saw it on TV when Kate and William married and their carriage went past it.

I've posted a second post on this same subject. Have a relaxing, reflective holiday.
As a species, we obviously need these kinds of public memorials, and they can be among the most moving forms of art. This (and your second post) are a nice collection.
Thank you so very, very much, OS Readers Picks! It means so much to me to know that the interest I have sitting here on my porch in Northern Michigan, writing and looking for photos, is shared with others near and far. The real tribute, as we all know, is to the heroes honored in these statues and somber places, the artists and planners who created these structures, and the communities and non-profits who funded them. I hope we can all be more mindful of statues that we pass and places that we visit.