One more thing about Norfolk

I keep forgetting to mention the very moving war memorial on the waterfront in Norfolk. I’m a fan of memorials, from the very traditional to the more contemporary. This one is unique and affecting, and I thank Alan for telling us about it.

Excerpts of 20 letters from servicemen and women who lost their lives in American wars, from the Revolutionary to the first Gulf War, are cast in bronze and arranged as if scattered by the wind. It was interesting to note the change in tone through the centuries. The earlier letters were factual and unemotional. In the civil war era, the writers prayed to God for mercy. The WWI and WWII letters were brave but you could sense the fear between the words. And by Korea and Viet Nam the writers were clearly traumatized, scared and wishing it would all be over.

This is from Korea, 1951:
“This whole thing, as are all wars, is complete lunacy, proving nothing, and accomplishing nothing.”

Most of the letters left me in tears. I rank this memorial right up there with the Viet Nam Wall in DC.

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4 Comments

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4 Responses to One more thing about Norfolk

  1. What an amazing design for a memorial. I hope I get to see it some day. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Carla

    Wow … very interesting. And what a unique way to share their thoughts and feelings.

  3. carole

    Thanks for this, Marce. To read the words of the ones you included was compelling and made me hungry for more. Does the Memorial have an archive of the letters they collected for this project. There are few things more moving than a first person account of times such as those.

    Would love to go there ~ the idea and the execution is phenomenal !

  4. petrakoch

    The letters are originally. I hope there is no more war in germany and in the unites states of america. The friendship of all people in the world is the way!

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