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Veterans Memorial Park
View looking north

“It is a place of special meaning to a people who deeply recognized the honor of gallantry and sacrifice.  The impact this memorial gives is one that offers like no other.  Projected scenario, The Gold Star Mother looks up to see her son's name float heavenly, then the boy's given name will be cast across the stretched hands of his mourner.  Healing has begun”.

The design philosophy of the Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park is base on cultural principles and the circle of life.  For Navajos, An establishment that deals with the after-life is not a condition that is appropriate.  It is well understood as a part of life, a simple aspect in the journey of life.  Medicine men, Veterans and their families were a significant part of the design process along with the designers.

The deceased are praised heavenly by etching their precious given names on clear glass panels high above their rifle bayonets.  This creates a new concept of mourning.  On Memorial Day, the sunrays cast their name across the palms of his mourner.  This concept is genuine and appropriate for traditional Navajos who opposed the idea of physical interaction.   North of the “medicine wheel” is a low retaining wall symbolizing a demilitarized zone between democracy and communism, or good and evil.  On the north side of the park are the remains of human bone fragments.  This wall separates or shields us from the taboo that is associated with such areas plus it informs the visitor on the complexities of war.

The chapel located on the west quadrant offers refections and healing.  It reminds us of the sacrifice people made in order for freedom to reign.

Architect of Record The Navajo Nation Design and Engineering and Kammayer & Associates