World War II
I was approached by a group of WWII veterans who wanted to erect a small bronze plaque on the campus of their college. They wanted to recognize all of the WWII vets that attended the school after the war ended.
I suggested that I thought I had a better idea. I described this sculpture. The title, “Tears From a Grateful Heart” presents the story of a modern day soldier, kneeling in honor of those who have fought before him. A small tear can be seen from his eyes. I told the older veterans, “He is kneeling in honor of you. There are battles you fought that he will not have to fight and he is grateful.”
After 9/11, the design has changed. As Derek Smith's interview explains, "The 'Tears' soldier pauses to reflect on the sacrifices of previous generations of American soldiers. He has a tear falling from his left eye, and his watch is stopped at 9:11 in a subtle reference to the nation’s war on terror. In his right hand is an M-4 rifle, while his left hand is clinched around his gloves in a display of resolve."