Thursday, 9 June 2016

Herd Peak and the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden

On Wednesday we headed about an hour south into California to fly at Herd Peak. The forecast looked okay but, when we got there, it was totally blown out with winds 25 gusting to 32 km/hr. (Ideal, for us, for flying is about 10-15 km/hr.) Regardless, the views were gorgeous! The wildflowers were in full bloom, Mount Shasta was clearly visible and the cloud formations just got more and more dramatic. 

Just a few of the wildflowers.
The viewing couch at the launch site.
We then stopped by the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden which was very poignant. It's "a place to remember, a place to mend" and is dedicated to veterans of all conflicts. The artist is Dennis Smith, a Vietnam War Marine Corps sergeant and veteran of the Khe Sanh siege. He says, "Through the arts we have the means to peacefully consider violence and to ask questions as well as to offer possible solutions."

The Nurses -- "This sculpture honors nurses, Navy corpsmen, Army medics, pharmacist's mates and doctors, the courageous souls who bring the healing arts to places rife with injury and death:
'God love them they've saved a lot of lives.'"
The Flute Player -- "A tall elegant figure places a simple flute. With the right breeze a sound may be heard. Three female figures respond in dance. 'For me a flute symbolizes peace and tranquility.'"
"At the 38th Parallel a sword lies broken. A soldier sits, head in hand, remembering. 'Who remembered the Korean War Vets? We did. This one's for you my spiritual uncles . . . Semper Fi!'"
The Why Group -- "On the ground a man rushes to help a falling comrade. High above on a pedestal the central figure arches his back, rears his head and stretches his arms to the sky."
Coming Home -- "It is not uncommon for Vets to feel a lot of emotional pain upon returning home. In this regard I am no different from any other retired warrrior. I feel more fortunate than most, because sculpture is a positive way for me to deal with this pain."
Hot LZ - "The Hot LZ (combat landing zone) helicopter perches on top of the wall, brought to life by the poetry of veteran, Jim Leach, and the artistry of Dennis Smith."
"The Memorial Wall celebrates the honourably discharged veterans of our nation's conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present. Every Memorial Day and Veterans Day the names of veterans newly etched on the granite-clad Memorial Wall are read aloud as part of the memorial ceremonies."

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