Many people ask my why we took on such an immense project. That is a reasonable question. Carl Regutti, an award winning sculptor and chemist, and I refined a technique to do very high-resolution etching on oxide or PVD colored stainless steel. We began R&D in 2004 and continued experiments through 2006.
Due to the nature of the coating and the durability of 316 stainless, these etched pieces should survive the elements for thousands of years.
During this R&D, Carl and I began contemplating how we might honor our military heroes. Both of us are getting older, and neither of us served in the military. Carl has a brother who is a high-ranking military officer. My father was in the OSS during WWII and my mother was a stenographer on the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg. She later worked for the CIA and then US Customs as an inspections supervisor.
We both feel very strongly about the sacrifices our military men and women have made to keep this country free. We researched the DC memorials and read how long they took to put in place. By the time the WWII Memorial was completed the parents of the fallen had all passed away, never getting to see the tribute to these heroes. The Commemorative Works Act adds another impediment to the memorial process.
So we designed a memorial that features the black, surgical stainless steel tributes we perfected in the lab. Honoring our fallen heroes in the wars on terrorism was our first thought. After conversations with representatives in DC who oversee monuments, we were advised that if we wanted to see a memorial put in place any time soon we should undertake the project ourselves. That’s exactly what we are doing. We want a memorial in place while the parent’s of the fallen are still alive to see it.