Four Questions for sculptor Sabin Howard
"This Memorial must incite a conversation about the history of this country and the history of the world."
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
Sabin Howard is the sculptor half of the partnership that is developing the design for the National World War One Memorial to be built in Washington, D.C.
The design-concept for the new National World War One Memorial in DC calls for a remarkable bas relief wall of sculpture that you are working on. Tell us about the wall, and your efforts to bring it to life.
Sabin HowardThe new National World War One Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. has, as part of its design concept, a 75-foot long bronze bas-relief sculpture, to honor the 4.7 million Americans who served in WW1, including the 116,000 who lost their lives. As sculptor for the project, I am responsible for creating an appropriate work of art for the wall. This wall is, in many ways, a visual centerpiece for the Memorial, and offers a creative canvas for us to tell the WW1 story.
Details are still very much open, as the review and approval process is still underway, and that regulatory process determines the final outcome. I can say, for the current version that I hope to present for review, I would like to create an allegorical version of the emotional journey that these war veterans experienced.
Since the wall is so long, I can see the possibilities of telling this story through different chapters, or acts, showing the call to arms, the battle, and the aftermath and loss. A recurring figure would be shown leaving his family, joining the battle, and returning home – or perhaps not returning. Figures depicting those who served would represent a spectrum of different American participants, including men and women of different ages, races, and wartime responsibilities.
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Imperishable Inheritance: Sermon at the Memorial Service for Norman Prince and the Lafayette Escadrille
By Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben, CHC, USN
Chief of Navy Chaplains
(Note: Rear Admiral Kibben delivered the Sermon at the Centennial Memorial Service for Norman Prince and the Lafayette Escadrille on Friday, October 14, 2016, at the Washington National Cathedral. The following is the text of the sermon.)
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ESV
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
1 Peter 1:3-12 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ...
Jesus said “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”
Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben, CHC, USN, Chief of Navy ChaplainsA very good afternoon to all of you: members of the Prince family, representatives from the World War One Centennial Commission, and nos amis français. You have traveled from all corners of the world to give honor and tribute to Lieutenant Norman Prince, to share with his family the heritage from which they are privileged to have come, but perhaps most important, to remember all those who gave their lives in the war to end all wars, in sacrifice for the greater good. In this we are all inheritors, in as much as it is the legacy that they left which allows us the freedom to gather, which has preserved our countries’ liberty, and which has ensured that we maintain the privilege to worship freely the One who sustains us in the face of adversity and who remains with us throughout the ages.
In his 1896 Memorial Sermon, the Reverend Dr. John W. Sayers, Chaplain, Dept. of Pennsylvania, Grand Army of the Republic, shared this sentiment:
“Human life is of short duration. Of all our years but few may be devoted to the accomplishment of great purposes. ...
It is, therefore, not so much what men may accomplish in this life as it is what their work may do for the world after they are dead. ...
the good lives always to a noble purpose and keeps the world slowly moving toward the right.”
It would be 20 years later, when the few, whom we honor today, demonstrated their devotion to the accomplishment of great and noble purposes. The Great War which began as a local disturbance eventually spread into a worldwide struggle. And as war in Europe raged, it intensified through the use of dangerous new weapons which took over fields of livelihood and tranquility and turned them into desolate, trenched moonscapes littered with corpses and wreckage. But as horrified as Americans were with the ravages of war, they remained neutral, isolating themselves from any involvement.
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