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Design of Tribute to Veterans Unveiled

By Paul Purpura

This article is reproduced here with permission from the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Our thanks to the Times-Picayune staff who consistently brings Veteran's Affairs to the reading public. Our special thanks to Paul Purpura, West Bank Bureau for patiently putting up with my requests to share the information he presented with you all. From the Times-Picayune, Sunday, April 14, 2001, Metro Section.

Financing sought to build monument.

When sculptor Christopher Saucedo was commissioned about two years ago to desing a war memorial in New Orleans, his instructions included incorporation of a central allegorical figure representing liberty surrounded by plaques honoring the armed services and civilians who contributed to war efforts.

Over time, he said, "war" was dropped from the name in favor of veterans memorial, plaques were replaced by benches, and the design evolved into a park with a fountain and a pool. Saucedo, a fine arts associate professor at the University of New Orleans, said he's aiming for "Hopefully, a place where people can come and reflect on the situation."

UNO has offered land and vow of maintenance

On Thursday, the Mayor's Military Advisory Committee of Greater New Orleans, which commissioned the monument, unveiled Saucedo's design and announced it will be at the end of the Elysian Fields Avenue at the UNO Research and Technology Park.

Symbolic work

"It's pretty nontraditional," said Frank Uddo, the committee' chairman "It's not somebody running into battle with a gun in one hand and a grenade in the other hand, but it has tremendous symbolism."

The committee, which has worked on the monument for about 31/2 years, faces two hurdles: Finding financing to build the monument and finalizing the exact location. UNO has offered use of land and, Uddo said, will provide for the monument's perpetual care. Saucedo estimated the park will cost about $500,000, and Uddo said the committee is seeking the money.

"I'm confident the funding is there, " Uddo said. "I'm confident it will be done. It's just like everything else. It just takes time."

The monument site will be near the entrance to the UNO Research and Technology Park, adjacent to the lighthouse built in 1832, once a fixture at Pontchartrain Beach that the University hopes to restore, a UNO spokeswoman said.


World without borders

The circular veterans memorial park will have about a 50-foot diameter, at the perimeter of which will be a planter. In the center will be a cylinder-shaped black and white granite fountain with an 8-foot diameter, at the top of which will be the representation of Pangea, the theoretical land mass that predates the Earth's current continental configuration.

Water will flow from under Pangea, over the top of the fountain and into a retention pool. Pangea will be carved in white granite and is meant to represent one world without borders, Saucedo said. It will be set on a fractured background of black granite of seven sections, each corresponding with a bench, or "seat of honor," around the pool. A granite American flag and three flag poles are included in the design.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Saucedo added a Maltese cross relief representing firefighters to the homefront bench in honor of his brother, Gregory. He was new York City firefighter who was killed in the World Trade Center.

He was really excited about it, " Saucedo said of his brother, with whom he talked about the monument during the design phase. " I thought that was fitting."

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Stupore! ho una sensibilitÓ molto buona circa il vostro luogo!!!!

Posted by: verona, at 2007-03-19 08:44:02


This item is part of WelcomeHomeSoldier.com: historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.


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