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"The Cutting Edge"


Photo of sculpture by Dennis Smith

This spring break my family and I drove down to San Francisco. On our way, we stopped at a little sculpture garden off of a highway in California. I had never heard of this place before, or seen any pictures. Yet when we drove in, I felt it deserved to be known around the country. This isn't an ordinary sculpture garden, this is the 'Living Memorial Sculpture Garden' created entirely for Veterans (mainly Marines). The artist who created every single breath-taking sculpture in this garden is Dennis Smith, a retired Marine Corps Veteran. Throughout the entire park there are nine sculptures, a Labyrinth and a Memorial wall. The Memorial wall ( a.k.a. the Hot LZ Memorial Wall) is a large wall completely covered in veteran names, and every Memorial and Veterans Day more names are added. Each of the nine sculptures represent a different aspect of a certain war. The sculptures are named, 'The Why Group,' "POW-MIA,' 'The Flute Player,' 'Those Left Behind,' 'The Peaceful Warrior,' 'Korean War Veteran Monument,' 'Coming Home,' ' The Nurses,' and the newest 'The Greatest Generation.' Each sculpture is about 2 or 2 1/2 times a normal persons height so you can tell how dedicated this man was to make these sculptures. Yes this man was a veteran himself, but that doesn't mean you have to be one to do something that makes a difference, even in only one persons life. I'm sure that many veterans have traveled along that highway and stopped at Mr. Smiths Garden and just by seeing his sculptures, they realized that someone appreciated what they have done for our country. Imagine if each one of us did something, even something small like make a poster saying thanks, just imagine how many veterans would go home happy that night. Remember, it only takes one person to make a difference.

Updated: October 2009