The Anthem Veterans Day Memorial – KS Brooks – Medium
Sometimes the stars align and everything goes really right: that’s what happened on November 11, 2018 in Anthem, Arizona — except it was the Sun, not the stars.
Anthem is the home of the Anthem Veterans Memorial which was designed by local resident Renee Palmer-Jones. What makes this memorial so unique is it’s not a “static” monument; it interacts with the Sun. And each year, on November 11 at 11:11 AM, the Sun is in just the right position to shine through cut-outs in the monument and illuminate The Great Seal of the United States. This is an amazing feat of engineering, and Anthem resident “Jim Martin was responsible for aligning the memorial accurately with the sun,” an article on TwistedSifter.com states.
The article also explains the arrangement of the pillars: “The five marble pillars represent the five branches of the United States military. They are staggered in size (from 17 ft to 6 ft) and ordered in accordance with the Department of Defense prescribed precedence, ranging from the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, and the United States Coast Guard.”
The white marble pillars cast a dramatic shadow on the brick pavers which surround the pillars, making The Great Seal of the United States truly glow when the sunlight comes through to illuminate it.
Most of the photos you see of the monument with this article were taken on November 12. On the eleventh, there was a wonderful ceremony that involved surrounding the monument with cadets, making it impossible to get close-up shots. So, if you plan on seeing the memorial, I recommend going either the day before, or the day after, as well as on Veterans Day. The ceremony was moving, and it was heartwarming to see so many veterans from all over the country in attendance.
The ceremony ended with the playing of The Stars and Stripes Forever as the Sun came through the pillars. The Great Seal was projected onto a big screen, which didn’t do it justice in the bright sunlight. That’s why I recommend coming back to have your own up-close and personal viewing. Don’t miss the ceremony, though — they had some great speakers — veterans telling their stories — and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place, myself included.
Oddly enough, I didn’t even realize it was the 100-year anniversary of Armistice/Veterans Day until I arrived at the memorial. I was actually going to Phoenix to do a couple of photo shoots for my children’s books, and luckily I realized that I would be there for the event. I made contact with the organizers in Anthem because I’d heard this was something to see, and I wanted to share it with everyone back home. Additional pictures, and video, of the ceremony finale and my visit the day after have been posted on the Silverado Express Facebook page, if anyone is interested.
I feel privileged to have been at the ceremony, and it is my pleasure to be able to share it with everyone. If you’re in Arizona in November, or any time, I highly recommend you stop by this memorial. You won’t regret it.