Honoring The 297 Who Died

One of the most significant war memorials that I have seen is in downtown Zanesville, Ohio on the Muskingum County Courthouse lawn. It’s dedicated to the 297 men from this county who died in World War II and Korea.

Those casualties are represented by 297 empty helmets, haphazardly piled atop an earthen mound. Each helmet is inscribed with a name.

Behind the helmets, there are two larger than life soldiers – one comforting the other who grieves their fallen comrades. At the front of the pile there’s another young man. I like the way the plaque describes this soldier. “We have a strapping young man striding forward with a purposeful gaze into the future.”

The memorial was sculpted by Alan Cottrill in 2012. He is an Army veteran and artist whose studio and gallery in downtown Zanesville welcomes visitors.

According to his website, Cottrill has arguably the largest body of work by any living sculptor with commissioned monuments throughout the country. You can learn more about the artist at his website by clicking here.

You can pay your respects on the Courthouse lawn at the corner of Main and Fifth streets. There’s a nice garden with benches and other monuments here too.

It really is an extraordinary sculpture and worth a detour into downtown if you’re in the area.

The Korean War Memorial



The National Mall in Washington, D.C. is filled with monuments meant to inform and move. Of these, none personifies the humanity of war like the Korean War Memorial. It features nineteen stainless steel statues representing Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force members who served. At around seven feet tall, they are just slightly larger than life and look like they could step through the junipers and begin talking to you.

Look closely at the wall and you’ll see the reflections of those statues.

Korean war 2

The dedication stone summarizes the significance beautifully.

Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.