Situated on 136 acres of Klamath National Forest land, backdropped by magnificent Mount Shasta, the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden (LMSG) near Weed, California is a place to remember and honor veterans from all wars. Its not just for veterans though, it is a place for families, friends, and anyone affected by conflicts from the Revolutionary War through present time. The metal sculptures here are powerful symbols that represent the life experiences and personal incidents of artist Dennis Smith, a Vietnam War Marine Corps sergeant. Mr. Smith says, “Through the arts we have the means to peacefully consider violence and to ask questions as well as to offer possible solutions.” The next time you’re traveling through this area, stop and admire the art while doing a little considering of your own.
The Nurses sculpture honors nurses, medical corpsmen, pharmacists’ mates and doctors; the courageous souls who bring the healing arts to places rife with injury and death.“God love them, they save lives.”
All Wounded Warriors was dedicated at a Veterans Day ceremony in 2007, and symbolizes all service-connected wounds, physical and psychological.
The Greatest Generation depicts the second raising of the flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on February 23, 1945. This sculpture is the artist’s tribute to the veterans of World War II.
In addition to 11 metal sculptures, the Garden also features a picnic area, restrooms, and the Hot LZ Memorial Wall. Two helicopter sculptures showing figures in action— piloting, providing cover and assisting a comrade on board— are perched atop the Wall. There is also a bronze plaque honoring LTC Ace Cozzalio, a decorated helicopter pilot, and a founding member of the LMSG. For a donation of $100, the name of any honorably-discharged veteran, living or dead, can be added to the Wall.
IF YOU GO
The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden (LMSG) is located off California State Highway 97, about thirteen miles from Weed, California. From Interstate 5, take the Central Weed exit and head NE on Hwy 97 toward Klamath Falls, Oregon and look for signs. LMSG is about .9 miles past county road A-12. FREE.
In addition to writing about her travels, Denise Seith is also a treasure hunter and loves a good latté. She and her husband own an online gold prospecting and metal detecting equipment store found at GoldRushTradingPost.com