Artist creates moving memorial to honor fallen military members - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local artist creates moving memorial to honor fallen military members


A Connecticut artist has created a moving memorial with photographs of the thousands of men and women who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2007, Rebecca Fellows lost a close friend serving in Afghanistan.

"And I think as an artist, I needed to respond somehow," she said. 

Her response was to create an American Flag made up of ceramic picture frames with one for each of the 3,500 soldiers who had to date had died in the wars.

"A young woman was standing there and crying and I asked, 'are you OK?'...and she said, 'my friend is there and I can't find him,'" Fellows said.

Fellows started over. She created larger flags with larger frames and photographs with directories so people can find fallen service men and women. Many of whom have told her they have found comfort and closure in the experience.

"I said, wait a minute. Are these all the people who have been killed," said Ian Samela of New Haven, who was viewing the memorial for the first time. "And I read a little bit and it's overwhelming and touching and a little emotional frankly."

The memorial is displayed at City Hall in New Haven.

"But, there is no doubt the emotional part is very difficult because I am holding these faces in my hands and some of them are just heart-breaking," Fellows said. "When I'm looking at him, I'm wondering. Have you been in love? Have you had all those simple things that we all want in life? And many of them haven't."

Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.