The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden is dedicated to veterans of all our nation’s armed conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present.
The garden’s ten remarkable sculptures were created by master sculptor Dennis Smith, Vietnam War Marine Veteran. Smith’s works are “Specific yet symbolic, monumental yet intimate, patriotic yet cautionary.” Nine of the sculptures are pictured below. (Double click on any photo to see larger size)
THE WHY GROUP
The Garden’s centerpiece. One soldier rushes to aid a falling comrade; another reaches toward the sky asking, “Why?”**
THE GREATEST GENERATION
“The (work) expresses the love, admiration and thanks we all have for the generation that fought this most terrible of conflicts, World War II.”
KOREAN WAR VETERAN
A sword lies broken at Korea’s 38th Parallel. . . . “Who remembers the Korean War Vets?” Sculptor Dennis Smith asked, then answered, “We do. This one’s for you, my spiritual uncles . . . Semper Fi!”
This somber sculpture honors nurses, Navy corpsmen, Army medics, pharmacist’s mates and doctors . . . who bring the healing arts to places rife with injury and death. “God love them, they saved a lot of lives.”
POW — MIA
“Imagine confinement, mosquitoes, leeches, rats, rotten rice, rotten fish, abusive guards, and little chance of survival. Hope is reaching for the will to hang on.”
ALL WOUNDED WARRIORS
The agonized figure “symbolizes all service-connected wounds, physical and psychological. There are many ways to be wounded.”
THOSE LEFT BEHIND
A female figure receives a folded American flag. “Who can repay those who have lost loved ones in combat? What on earth compensates for this loss of life. . . ?”
“it is not uncommon for Vets to feel . . . emotional pain upon returning home . . . I feel fortunate; sculpture is a positive way for me to deal with the pain. . . .”
THE “HOT LZ” MEMORIAL WALL
The names of veterans newly etched on the granite-clad wall are read aloud as part of memorial ceremonies twice a year. For a donation of $100, families and friends can place the name of any honorably discharged veteran, living or dead, on the wall. Contact LMSG at 530-938-2218 or their website.
THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR
“The Peaceful Warrior honors those who step forward to . . . fight against aggression to preserve peace. There is no contradiction to this.”
A poem for healing
무 사 *
Photos of the garden by David Lee Woods, Walnut Creek, CA. Permission to post this presentation was granted by a member of the LMSG Board of Directors. Apply for LMSG membership on their website, (click here) or write them at PO Box 301, Weed, CA 96094. Phone 530-938-2218.
* The Korean characters 무 사 seen several times above, mean Warrior.
** Descriptive quotes below photos were taken from writings by the garden’s sculptor, Vietnam War Veteran Dennis Smith