Now and then we are reminded, that, indeed, America is Beautiful. When friends come to visit, we find reasons to revisit places of significance. Yes, we have toured (hey kids, a free tour, ever hour on the hour at the Washington State Capitol) our state’s capitol and grounds, many, many times. It is stunning, quiet, reflective, meaningful and beautiful. You will find something that will take your breath away.
Yes, I have a favorite monument. However, when you bring someone who has not seen the area before, you give them time to soak it in. That gives you the “tour guide” time to reflect and learn more about your favorite piece. Dig a little deeper for more secrets or facts. Read more of the stones, engraved with prayers that surround the piece. Touch the names, feel the wheat, listen to the mournful sounds of the metal against metal.
The WWII Memorial on the Capitol grounds has touched my heart, over and over and over. This time I learned a snippet of history about the artist, Simon Kogan a resident of Olympia, Washington. He is a Russian immigrant of Jewish descent and had a dream of creating a commemorative work about a war that affected him so personally. His design was inspired by the first stanza of the song, “America the Beautiful”.
The field of wheat (that moves and you can hear the echo of the metal against metal) collectively represents nearly 6,000 Washingtonians who were killed in the war. The monument was dedicated in May 1999.
“When my country called, I answered… When my country asked, I gave… Reach out now, across the years and through the tears… Remember me.”
The wheat stalks were made from melted torpedo railings used on old US warships donated by the Bremerton Naval Shipyard.
May I gently suggest that you come visit and stand with me, listening to the sound of the Amber Waves of Grain? The tone is beautiful and will stay with you. The meaning is deep and rich and of value. The sounds somehow sing out the grateful that you feel about living in this country.
Once you learn it was created and made by an American citizen, a Russian immigrant of Jewish descent…………you will understand the meaning of Grace and Gratitude.
America is indeed Beautiful.
God Shed His Grace on Thee.