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VFW Magazine April 2017 : Page_35

The National World War I Memorial design team comprised of architect Joe Weishaar, landscape architect Phoebe McCormick Lickwar and sculptor Sabin Howard, stand inside a tunnel leading into Pershing Park in January in Washington, D.C. The memorial, which is on track for a November 2017 groundbreaking, will be located in Pershing Park at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. A 25-yeAr-old post-grAduAte student froM the university of ArkAnsAs will speArheAd the design of A new nAtionAl world wAr i MeMoriAl to be built in wAshington, d.C. tAsk About Joe Weishaar Weishaar now owns and operates his own small consulting business. He also is completing architec-ture-licensing exams with the intent of beginning his own prac-tice. Weishaar is an active-oil pas-tel painter, and his work has been displayed at multiple gallery exhibi-tions in Chicago. bob knudsen photography In January 2016, the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission select-ed architect Joe Weishaar to design the memorial after an open, international competition that yielded some 360 sub-missions from architects, students, art-ists and designers. The commission launched the design competition in May 2015. Three months later, a jury select-ed by the commission chose five finalists, including Weishaar, who made a formal submission to the commission. Weishaar said his motivation for creat-ing the memorial is that he feels the war itself essentially defined the 20th century for the United States and the world. “To just let it pass by, forgotten, is a huge disservice to the men and women who fought and served in this war,” he said. The Centennial Commission has been working closely with the design team since its selection to create the final pro-totype of the National WWI Memorial. The memorial will honor the 4.7 mil-lion American men and women who served in uniform during the Great War (1917-1919) and will occupy areas in and around Washington, D.C.’s Pershing Park, located on the corner of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. Construction will start on the $50 mil-lion memorial by November. The WWI Centennial Commission hopes to com-plete work on the memorial the fol-lowing year to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of the war. Shortly after being awarded the design opportunity, Weishaar recruited Sabin Howard and Phoebe McCormick Lickwar to assist. Howard is a notable American classical figurative sculptor based in New York City and a board mem-ber of the National Sculpture Society. Lickwar is a landscape architect and an assistant professor of landscape archi-tecture at the University of Arkansas, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. Weishaar said it is important to remember the 7 million American men and women who were involved in the war effort or joined the service during the war. “To forget this war, to forget the les-sons from this war, and the stories of this war or to forget these American veter-ans, is neglect that touches all American veterans and service members serving today,” Weishaar said. Lickwar, who also worked on the National September 11 Memorial in New York City, agreed and noted the differ-ences between the two memorials. “The 9/11 Memorial (and Museum) is still a site of mourning and is located in a place where a great tragedy happened,” Lickwar said. “However, they both serve a commemorative and educational pur-pose that links future generations with past events.” Even though the project is a nation-al memorial in Washington, Sabin said there are some core ideas he would I think many of the returning sol-diers, maybe wanted to forget, which is why it became forgot-ten. We are trying to keep them alive in some way by bringing back their stories and by involv-ing the families, the children, and the grandchildren so they may remember the sacrifices made by their loved ones before them. Joe Weishaar like the viewers to take away from their experience at the site. “Our job is, from the beginning, to make something that’s exciting, that’s dramatic, that’s going to get people to think,” Sabin said. “This war changed the concept of who we are as a human race, of this humanity.” As a figurative artist, Sabin said his plan is to create a wall comprised of fig-ures, men, women and children who were affected by the war. “Everybody can associate with it because when you look at figurative art, APRIL 2017   • WWW.VFW.ORG • 35

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