Veterans Wall of Honor | Henry County, Georgia
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Veterans Wall of Honor

Veterans Wall of Honor, McDonough, Georgia

Following the Veterans Walk down the gently sloping hill, just down from the grand staircase, the POW/MIA granite wall stands facing the main Veterans Wall.  A more intimate and quiet setting, the POW/MIA tribute allows for reflection and remembrance.  Physically, this tribute acts as a trailhead to a long wooden bridge that crosses a small creek.  However, it stands where it does to commemorate those who were captured and have returned and to symbolize those who have been lost in action serving our military, yet who remain in the memories of their families and comrades.

The shape of the tribute wall, reacting to several influences resident on the site, needed to become one that was not symmetrical or balanced.  Using the resulting imbalanced form to advantage, a sweeping, upward gesture was conceived to give physical shape to movement, to wind, to memory.  Its form is not static, but rather active and dynamic, as are one’s thoughts, emotions, memories.  The line of the form starts low and draws the eye up as the wall curves around the tribute circle.

The graphics on the wall strengthen the intent of this tribute, further evoking memory, gratitude and reflection of sacrifice given.  The POW/MIA flag, embraced by the nation and engraved into the face of the stone, beckons the viewer to never forget.  The image of the medal displays the gratitude of the nation to those captured while serving.  Engraved at the base of the tribute is a very powerful quote, essentially the mission statement for many of our veterans.  It grounds the display and leaves the viewer with an impactful message, stating, “America keeps a vigil for those who have not yet returned”

At the low end of the wall is another image, one of empty combat boots.  Boots, specifically combat boots, low to the ground, are tangible, real, rugged.  They are a visual manifestation of service and duty.  Empty boots can be viewed to represent what once was, symbolizing both those who were once wartime prisoners as well as those that were or are still missing.

An etched, upward sweep, which conveys wind, smoke, memory, ties the image of boots to another graphic at the taller end, that of an eagle, soaring and inclined in flight.  The flight of the eagle is intangible, ethereal, a trace of what had been, representing those no longer present, but whose service was honorable.  The sweep connects low to high, from ground (boots) to air (eagle), from duty to ultimate goal, from body to spirit.

This tribute is meant to honor our POW/MIA veterans, to provide a place for humble reflection of and honest gratitude for their service.  It is intended to give special recognition to those who have given an inconceivably high level of duty and sacrifice.

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Veterans Wall of Honor | Henry County, Georgia