The Patterson Foundation Honors Veterans, Inspires Patriotism Through Art

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The Patterson Foundation unveils art enhancement featuring nationally recognized artists at Patriot Plaza, Sarasota National Cemetery.

"Service, Support, Sacrifice"

"Service, Support, Sacrifice"

This is a legacy to all generations—whether you are serving, have served or know someone who has, you will feel the emotional story embodied in the art at Patriot Plaza.

The Patterson Foundation shared today a preview of the commissioned art that will be integrated throughout Patriot Plaza, the ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery. The amphitheater is the result of a first-of-its-kind partnership between The Patterson Foundation and the National Cemetery Administration.

The art featured throughout the 1.83-acre space honors veterans and inspires patriotism while telling the story of the complex facets of service and sacrifice that touch all veterans and their families. The art at Patriot Plaza will cost approximately $2 million and is fully funded by the foundation. The plaza features work by nationally recognized artists from around the country–including lead artist Larry Kirkland–as part of the largest privately funded enhancement to a National Cemetery.

“This art truly is about touching the soul as it honors our veterans,” said Debra Jacobs, President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “This is a legacy to all generations–whether you are serving, have served or know someone who has, you will feel the emotional story embodied in the art at Patriot Plaza.”

The art featured within Patriot Plaza includes:

  • Service, Support, Sacrifice and Witness to Mission – Larry Kirkland, lead artist

Serving as the lead artist and site consultant for the art at Patriot Plaza, Kirkland designed two sections for the north pedestrian walkways of the space. One section, Service, Support, Sacrifice, features photojournalism and text on white marble tablets that reflect the personal voices of those who experience military life. The other section, Witness to Mission, uses photojournalism on white marble plinths to tell the narrative history of the United States Military since the Civil War through the experience of the men and women who made history. Kirkland’s previous work includes the Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial in Washington, D.C.

  • Night to Day, Here and Away – Ellen Driscoll

Using the themes of military family and the branches of service, Driscoll designed a mosaic of a fictional landscape for the amphitheater’s rostrum (stage) that transitions from daylight to nighttime in a span of 50 feet to symbolize the time differences that are inherent in the lives of military families.

The mosaic depicts the five branches of the military through a line of ribbons awarded to service men and women for their valor. Two 20-foot-tall mosaic spires also carry this theme on the south walkways leading to the rostrum. Driscoll’s prior work includes designing the gates at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City.

  • Sentinel Eagles – Pablo Eduardo

The Sentinel Eagles are designed for the west entrance to Patriot Plaza. Cast in bronze and approximately 8 feet tall, the eagle sculptures evoke vigilance and a sense of majesty. A sculptor for more than 30 years, Eduardo’s previous work includes a sculpture of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez at the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Home – Ann Hirsch

Through themes of family and community that honor military service, Hirsch’s piece, Home, located at the east entrance of Patriot Plaza, depicts an American Bald Eagle nesting at home on one side of the entrance and the logos of the five military branches on the other side with quote from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. Hirsch’s previous work includes commissions for Concordia College, Vanderbilt University and Montauk Lighthouse Museum.

  • Globe Inset

Centered between the seating and the rostrum, a 19th century star map of world will be installed in floor in front of rostrum. It will have a light-colored granite background and dark polished granite for land.

“I am particularly interested in Patriot Plaza as I come from a military family. I know from experience that military life has challenges and rewards, dedication and commitment,” said Larry Kirkland, lead artist for Patriot Plaza. “It is my hope that those who choose to spend time engaged with the art are moved to honor those who serve and respect those who support our service men and women.”

Patriot Plaza is the new ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery. The construction of Patriot Plaza represents the first time a private philanthropic entity has partnered with the National Cemetery Administration on a ceremonial enhancement of this scope to a national cemetery. The Patterson Foundation, in partnership with the National Cemetery Administration, broke ground on Patriot Plaza in December 2012. A dedication is planned for spring 2014.

For more information about Patriot Plaza and background on the artwork and artists, please visit

About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation believes that through communications, technology, and financial innovations, improvements may be achieved that transcend any single issue, entity, or geographic area. The Foundation provides resources to facilitate, expedite, and share methods, techniques, and tools, joining with others in creating new realities. For more information, please visit    


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James Rosell
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