Client: City of Chattanooga
Location: Chattanooga, TN, United States
Completion date: 2019
Shane Allbritton, Norman Lee
Design Optimization / Project Management
“Wreath of Honor” 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.
The artwork and landscape will respectfully acknowledge the sacrifice of the Fallen Five and their families and address both the tragic and heroic acts that occurred on July 16, 2015, at the US Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC). The memorial will celebrate the unique character of the Chattanooga community and provide a space to share stories and memories of the tremendous acts of kindness, support and strength that occurred following July 16th.
The sculptural wreath is composed of interlacing, tempered 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. 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.
We worked closely with the City of Chattanooga and the project's landscape architect to integrate seating, plaza elements, landscape architecture, and interpretive components.
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. A sculptural wreath hovers above a circular granite 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.