Thursday, August 18, 2011

Colorado VI

Most of you know that I do not use anyone's name in my writing, but I make an exception today as I post these additional thoughts about these sites. I have received permission from all involved to use their names and, in this case, a photograph.

I received a nice email today from Tom Schomberg, the sculptor of the Denver memorial I wrote about a couple of posts back (see 7/29/11). He wanted me to be sure to give proper credit to Tom and Judy Kane, the folks who commissioned the memorials. He explained that Tom Kane had been a Marine pilot in 'Nam and that without his deep commitment and understanding of the needs of vets, the memorial might never have been placed. If he had never placed the one in Denver it is easy to see that the ones in Riverside National Cemetery in California and Adare Manor in Ireland would also have never been possible.

I have just recently exchanged a number of emails with Tom (Kane) and he sent me a lot of information about the dedication of the memorial in Ireland. As I mentioned in the previous post, the Schomberg memorial was to be placed in honor of the visit of the Traveling Wall to Ireland. A number of Irish citizens were lost fighting for the US in 'Nam. The families of the 16 known Irish casualties were invited to Adare Manor and 65 members from 12 of the families were able to attend. In addition, a number of Americans, including the Schombergs and Jan Scruggs (VVMF) were able to attend, too. Bertie Ahearn, the Taoiseach* (Irish Prime Minister) attended, gave the opening remarks and spent two full days with the families and visitors. So, it is with the utmost gratitude and respect that I salute Tom and Judy Kane for their commitment, generosity and, through these memorials, service to all vets.

The picture posted here is the first one I have ever posted that I did not take myself. It was taken by Tom Kane and is used with his permission. I will get to Ireland and photograph the memorial myself sometime in the not too distant future (I hope), but until that time I wanted you to see this magnificent site. I was actually at Adare in the mid 90's, before either memorial was placed. I was struck, at the time, by its elegant beauty and now the addition of this haunting tribute only adds to my love of this ancient (and now sacred) place.

Although he is adamant that the memorial be the focus of this effort, not Adare Manor, Tom and his wife, Judy, have refurbished the site and made it into a first class resort. It is located on many acres of beautiful Irish countryside and you can find more information here;

In case I failed to mention it previously, Tom Schomberg is also the sculptor of the War Dog memorial at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Riverside, in addition to the "Rocky" statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

You can visit Tom's studio to see these and many other of his great works here;

* Taoiseach is Gaelic and is pronounced Teesha, at least that is as close as I can come!!

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