It is not every day that one sees a 1,505-pound sculpture traveling down the road on a flatbed truck. In fact, the recent scene caused such a stir that the driver of the truck reported that state troopers in three states stopped him to shoot video of the unusual sight. After many stares, unscheduled stops, and people snapping pictures of the unusual cargo, the statue arrived safely from the foundry in Colorado to its destination – the Madison County Veteran’s Memorial Park in Huntsville.
The dramatic, bigger-than-life-size statue, called “Sacrifice,” was designed and created by local artist Danial Burch, who just happens to also be the husband of TSI employee Jackie Burch. The sculpture took Burch 1½ years to create after his design was finalized, and it took 5 months to bronze at a foundry in Colorado.
“There are many steps in the creation of bronze sculptures – both artistic and engineering – and that’s what fascinates me about the medium,” said Burch
“Sacrifice” dramatically depicts (in fine detail) two soldiers dragging their wounded comrade to safety. The three models for the creation are real soldiers from the Huntsville area – one is a decorated Vietnam veteran, another served with the Alabama Army National Guard until his retirement after being wounded in Iraq, and the other is a U.S. Army female soldier, who was also wounded in action. The latter two received Purple Hearts.
“We wanted the monument to depict real soldiers who have actually served our country and made the sacrifices,” said Burch. “We want to honor all soldiers from every branch of service, veterans, and their families.”
The artwork was mounted Oct. 10 in its permanent resting place at the east entrance of the circular park, which is located between Jefferson and Washington Streets just north of Monroe in downtown Huntsville. “Sacrifice” will officially be unveiled at a dedication ceremony for the new Veterans Memorial Park on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, tentatively at 11 a.m.
Burch is already hard at work on a second monument for the park, called “Courage,” which will depict a World War I soldier coming up from a trench to join two other soldiers charging enemy lines. This monument will be mounted at the west entrance of the circular park when completed, and a second dedication of the completed park is planned for Memorial Day 2012.
If you are interested in making a contribution to help with the costs of the park or would like to purchase a memorial brick paver or other items, call 256-799-2520 or go online at www.HuntsvilleVeteransMemorial.org for more details.