Fallen Five Memorial

Completion: 2019

LocationLocation: Tennessee Riverpark, Chattanooga, TN

Description: The Memorial is inspired by the transcendent form and symbolism of a wreath. For many cultures, wreaths represent notions of eternity, continuity, and memory. Within military history, wreaths carry special layers of meaning: victory, bravery, peace. In the military tradition of wreath-laying ceremonies, this reverent gesture recognizes honor and sacrifice. A suspended wreath eternally embodies this ritual of remembrance. Not touching the ground below, the suspended wreath creates a powerful gesture that marks the Riverpark site made sacred by the attacks that occurred on July 16, 2015, at the nearby US Navy Operational Support Center, but also by the tremendous acts of kindness, support, and strength that occurred following July 16th in the form of makeshift memorials and vigils held at the Tennessee Riverpark.

The design is unique to most other veteran and military memorials in that our expression connects the tribute to the Fallen Five to the community in which they lived and worked, serving their country. In our proposal, a sculptural wreath hovers above a circular stone plaza, equally suspended by five monumental limestone pillars each representing a different member of the Fallen Five. The pillars will be engraved with the name and biographical text of each of the Fallen Five, giving visitors a personal glimpse into the lives of these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

The sculptural wreath is composed of interlacing, brass colored stainless steel arc bands waterjet cut with the powerful words of tribute from the community following the tragic and heroic acts on July 16, 2015. At the center of the plaza is a circular granite bench that provides seating and a contemplative place to look upwards through the wreath to the sky above. The words and circular form of the wreath become a powerful symbol of unity for Chattanooga. The relationship of the pillars and wreath become a metaphor for how Chattanooga will forever be connected to the Fallen Five and how the Fallen Five will always lift up the community and stand as beacons of hope, honor, valor, and sacrifice.

Design Optimization/Management: METALAB

Landscape Architect: WMWA