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Military Memorials

Gold Star Moms

I received a couple of emails this morning from two Gold Star Mothers. They both watched their sons leave for the war in the desert; both bold and ready and strong. And then … an awful day … he’s not coming home. His presence now is in proud pictures, precious memories, and a folded flag.

They asked about a sculpture to help honor their sons. How am I qualified to step into that place… with them? I’m not. But I will do my best.

Military images should be easy; soldiers, guns, drama. The easy stuff can be found on the walls of tattoo parlors; crazed warriors, muscles bulging, guns blazing, piles of skulls, smoke and fire…

But how do you sculpt honor and dignity and sacrifice? I’m trying to learn. I know that when a mom holds one of my sculptures in her hands and it is supposed to tell her story and her son’s story, I feel the weight of that moment. So, when I’m alone in my studio, shaping the clay in front of me, all those families and fallen soldiers are looking over my shoulder … whispering … so I get the story right.

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