The idea of erecting a war memorial to the fallen soldier as opposed to a war victory is a relatively modern one, and can be traced to World War I. Today it is the soldier and human being that is honored and not the war, victory or otherwise, putting a face and name on the real losses suffered across any military campaign.
UMA/ARC was contacted by Clinton, Maine to help design a veterans memorial to those who both served and those who did not return. The first part of the assignment focused on a precedent study of memorial as a type. This helped the students gain some understanding of memorial design and its place in a given community. The next part of the project had the students working in small groups to design a memorial for a specific site: Clinton’s Old Mill Park – a central public gathering place for many town events and previous site of the town mill. The memorial site is slated to be the starting point for Clinton’s annual Veterans Day parade, ending at the town cemetery.
Finally, the students presented their work to the full town council and interested residents. Their projects and presentations were very well received; so much so that the question of a town memorial will be part of the next year’s budget discussions. UMA/ARC plans to stay involved with the hope that the design ideas raised by the students will be part of any final design solution.