USA — Restoration Complete for Vietnam War Memorial Statue

WASHINGTON — The new­ly refur­bished Three Ser­vice­men Stat­ue at the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al was unveiled today after six weeks of restora­tion.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
Left to right: Retired Army Brig. Gen. George Price; John Piltzeck­er, Nation­al Mall and Memo­r­i­al Parks super­in­ten­dent; Lindy Hart, wid­ow of sculp­tor Fred­er­ick Hart; and Jan Scrug­gs, Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al Fund founder and pres­i­dent, unveil the Three Ser­vice­men Stat­ue dur­ing a reded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mo­ny at the Nation­al Mall in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., July 8, 2010. The stat­ue, which orig­i­nal­ly was unveiled in 1984, under­went six weeks of restora­tion to repair dam­age and restore the orig­i­nal pati­na.
DoD pho­to by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Car­den
Click to enlarge

“This is a very note­wor­thy event,” said Jan Scrug­gs, founder and pres­i­dent of the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al Fund. “It’s very note­wor­thy for the his­to­ry of the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al, [and] it’s real­ly a notable event for our nation’s Mall and the main­te­nance and preser­va­tion of our nation’s Mall.” 

The stat­ue was cre­at­ed by sculp­tor Fred­er­ick Hart. Near­ly 26 years after its orig­i­nal unveil­ing in 1984, weath­er dam­age and age had tak­en a toll on the stat­ue. Parts of the uni­forms, weapons, hands and noses of the stat­ue sus­tained some cor­ro­sion and deterioration. 

The restora­tion was done in place, and it repaired oxi­da­tion dam­age and added a new pati­na coat­ing and wax. Dur­ing restora­tion, the stat­ue was pro­tect­ed by a wood­en enclo­sure with three sev­en-foot-tall win­dows that allowed tourists to view progress. 

“Almost 26 years lat­er, we’re here to reded­i­cate the stat­ue and pledge our con­tin­ued care,” said Scrug­gs, a Viet­nam War veteran. 

The stat­ue sits on the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al site here, about 200 feet away from and fac­ing the Viet­nam War Memo­r­i­al Wall. The stat­ue depicts three ser­vice­mem­bers – one His­pan­ic, one black and one white — and rep­re­sents the more than 58,000 fall­en ser­vice­mem­bers memo­ri­al­ized on the wall, Scrug­gs said. 

“There’s a sense of artis­tic and dynam­ic ten­sion as the ser­vice­men gaze at the sea of names on the wall,” Scrug­gs said. “Over the years, peo­ple have not­ed that it seems almost as if the ser­vice­men are look­ing to see if their own names or the names of their friends are on the wall.” 

Hart’s wid­ow, Lindy, was rec­og­nized at the cer­e­mo­ny for her husband’s work. Hart was the only per­son “who had the extra­or­di­nary tal­ent we were look­ing for and who would design the stat­ue in such a way as to com­ple­ment the memo­r­i­al,” Scrug­gs said. 

Hart often is referred to in the artis­tic com­mu­ni­ty as America’s Michelan­ge­lo, Scrug­gs said, not­ing his oth­er famous work, the Cre­ation sculp­tures on the west façade of the Wash­ing­ton Nation­al Cathedral. 

“It is real­ly not an exag­ger­a­tion to refer to him in that man­ner,” Scrug­gs said. “He was real­ly that good, … as good as any of the mas­ters in sculp­ture through­out the his­to­ry of the world.” 

One of Hart’s mod­els for the Three Ser­vice­men Stat­ue, William Smith, 50, of Vir­ginia, was present and rec­og­nized at the ceremony. 

Smith’s like­ness was cap­tured in the Cuban-Amer­i­can ser­vice­mem­ber on the right side of the stat­ue, car­ry­ing a .60-cal­iber machine gun over his shoul­der. Smith was the only mod­el who did­n’t serve in the mil­i­tary. The oth­er two were mem­bers of the Marine Corps Hon­or Guard and, at the time, were sta­tioned at Hen­der­son Hall Marine Bar­racks in Arling­ton, Va. 

Although Smith nev­er served, he said, he’s hon­ored that his like­ness helps to rep­re­sent “some of the great­est Amer­i­cans to ever serve.” 

“It’s amaz­ing to just be a part of this,” Smith said. “Being a part of this just fills my soul. It makes me a much bet­ter Amer­i­can and gives my pride in my country.” 

Retired Army Brig. Gen. George Price, an advo­cate for the statue’s cre­ation in the ear­ly 1980s, and John Piltzeck­er, Nation­al Mall and Memo­r­i­al Parks super­in­ten­dent, also attend­ed the ceremony. 

“The Nation­al Park Ser­vice is cer­tain­ly pleased that the Three Ser­vice­men Stat­ue has been restored to reflect the artist’s intent,” Piltzeck­er said. “We will con­tin­ue to work with our part­ner, the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al Fund, to main­tain the stat­ue for all to enjoy.” 

The restora­tion project cost about $25,000. The funds were raised by a Nation­al Park Ser­vice share grant and an in-home fundrais­er by Lindy Hart. Indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions also were made. New Arts Foundry of Bal­ti­more did the restora­tion work. 

The project is part of a main­te­nance and restora­tion pro­gram by the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al Fund to assist the Nation­al Park Ser­vice in site upkeep. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →