Gander Memorial Grove

I’d like to share images with you that I recently took visiting the Gander Memorial Grove on Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. I have driven past this memorial a number of times while living in the area, but have been personally impacted by this memorial. I was showing my work at an art festival in Virginia last year when, a gentleman and I started talking about Ft. Campbell. I will never forget the way he told me about the memorial grove and what it meant to him, and the son he lost in the Gander Plane Crash. The crash happened the same year I was born and yet this man, sharing his loss with me, was fighting back tears. People handle grief differently and we’re taught that time will heal those wounds. The loss of a child, the loss of a parent, the loss of a spouse, they are a loss, a hole in your heart and your life leaving a wound. The scars will fade but the loss will have always happened. Sometimes those feelings come back in a surprising way, a familiar sound, a forgotten scent, a conversation with a stranger. Visiting this memorial grove for me was an experience, this place is sacred, and it stirs emotions. You can not visit this place, especially symbolically in the fall and not feel something stir inside you. Somewhere in that grove, even though I do not know his name, is a plaque and a tree to remember that man’s son. We are the stewards of our memorials, visit them, preserve them, honor the people who have come before us. I hope to explore in my future work the theme of loss and coping with the life you are left with. DSC_0058

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