to uplift the heart and strengthen the spirit; a beacon of light, illuminating the stories
of loved ones lost
while serving our country.
Illuminating Courage represents many things. It is similar in form to a candle, yet unfurls like our flag. Its curving walls spiral inward, like arms embracing a loved one. This represents our community supporting the Gold Star families, and the families holding their memories close. One might see it as a hug or as a protective embrace, watching over the names of our Fallen Heroes. Protective, yet illuminating their stories.
Steel, stone and gleaming gold, traditional and durable materials, represent the strength and character of our service members. Lit from within, the sculpture shows the respect we as a community feel for these individuals that served and sacrificed for us. The glowing and reflected light represents the spirit of our service members, which will forever shine as an example for all citizens. The paver walkway allows the community to honor and remember their loved one’s service.
While the piece is large to draw visitors to the site, its wings also act as a shield for individuals desiring quiet solitude and reflection. Benches give the viewer a place to rest. The open plaza is large enough for gatherings, yet the interior, while open to the sky, offers a feeling of seclusion for private contemplation.
The clean lines of Illuminating Courage stand out against the Arena. The appearance of the sculpture will steadily change as the sun travels across the sky, revealing a play of light and shadow across the steel. Illuminating Courage is strong, resilient, and durable, yet it is not static. Light moves over the surface as we are moved by emotion, paying our respects to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Illuminating Courage was designed by Kathy Swehla, Hazen Audel and the Land Expressions Team.
a Post 9/11 Fallen Heroes Military memorial in SPokane, WA