War Memorial Centerpiece Maquette
This maquette is a prototype for the larger monument sculpture that will be the centerpiece for the Memorial Park. It has been created with a dual purpose: (1) to give the committees and pertinent parties who will weigh in on the park a visual conceptualization of what will be standing proudly in their park, and, (2) a tangible representation that can be used to promote fund-raising efforts. This maquette can be placed at a high traffic location where citizens can see it and be enrolled in the fund-raising effort. Perhaps a bank would be a good choice. It would need to be placed under a Plexiglas container and secured so that it doesn’t wobble or move, because in its clay form it could easily be damaged.
Great care has been taken in the researching of details that I have inserted within the sculpture, including items indigenous to our state and the city, i.e., a seagull, wheat shafts, cherries and Sego Lilies.
Our statue has a name—it’s “Columbia.” Columbia has been visualized as a goddess-like female national personification of the United States and of liberty itself for hundreds of years. This personification was sometimes called Lady Columbia, or Miss Columbia. As such, she is an apt choice for personifying our respect, our admiration, and our memory for all of those courageous young men and women who sacrificed much for our city, our state, and our republic.
She has Sego Lilies and shafts of wheat in her hair with a headband embroidered with stars. Her bodice has a bee skep with two bees and more Sego Lilies. A star laden sash is tied at her waist and flows in the breeze behind her.
Wheat is symbolic of self-sacrifice, love and charity. Sego Lilies are our state flower because of how they saved our pioneer ancestors when crickets devoured the majority of their crops in the 1800’s. Cherries became our official state fruit in 1997. The cherry tree is a symbol of friendship.
She is standing on a bronze platform that is decorated with a wheat motif. She is leaning forward and looking down upon a bowed shelf that she is holding with five helmets representing the major wars fought by our sons and daughters in the 20th and 21st centuries, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the more recent conflicts—the Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield), the Iraq War (“shock and awe”) and the War in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). A draped flag lies underneath the helmets, and the shelf is bowed by the weight of the sacrifices paid by our men and women in uniform. The shelf itself is tilted forward because it is almost more than Columbia can bear. By her feet is a Seagull and a small bunch of cherries.
Each of us are blessed to enjoy freedoms and liberties that we might not otherwise have were it not for the courageous efforts and sacrifices by our men and women who served so bravely. Many paid the ultimate price for their families, their community, and their country. To the families of those who gave their all, as well as those heroes who came home, we salute you, honor you, and will always remember you.