Patriot Plaza art, beauty captured in words and pictures

Patriot Plaza art, beauty captured in words and pictures

Posted on May 12, 2015 by Nancy Henry, office manager for The Patterson Foundation

I’m sure you’ve all heard the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Photos have the power to evoke strong emotions and feelings -- it's all part of the beauty of photography.

The same holds true for coffee table book featuring Patriot Plaza's commissioned art, which documents the experiences of service members and military families from the Civil War through 21st Century conflicts.

The coffee table book was produced by The Patterson Foundation to not only share with the nation and build awareness of this ceremonial amphitheater, often referred to as an “outdoor museum,” but to also inspire the infinite possibilities that can be achieved when one partners with others.

Over 2,700 books – each a gift from The Patterson Foundation and never for sale - have been dispersed across the United States from Maine to Hawaii.

The distribution list included:

  • Federal and state government officials
  • Community leaders
  • VA medical centers and outpatient clinics
  • Senior living facilities
  • Funeral homes
  • Local public and college libraries
  • Local public and charter schools

I remember one call from a woman who saw the Patriot Plaza coffee table book at a funeral home and wanted to buy four copies for her children who lived out of state. Her husband had passed away a few months earlier and was buried at Sarasota National Cemetery. She felt the book would be a beautiful keepsake for her children as a remembrance of their father and where he now rests as well as nurture appreciation for such an extraordinary landmark – honoring veterans, inspiring patriotism, and embracing freedom. While all the books had been distributed at this point, we empathized with this woman.

The extensive feedback that we have received over the past six months through notes, emails and phone calls validates the gratitude and appreciation felt by so many. For the multitudes who have been touched by the beauty of Patriot Plaza, it is not only an eternal resting place honoring those who have served and their families but also a place for the living where through art the authentic meaning of service and sacrifice is fathomed. It is a place to celebrate those who continue to serve and will serve.

Here are some excerpts from letters/notes The Patterson Foundation has received:

On behalf of Glenallen Elementary staff, I would like to thank you for the two copies of Patriot Plaza art books. Your donation will help us better understand the sacrifice, and honor our veterans in a lasting way. Thanks again for this wonderful gift.”         

- Amy Archer, Principal

"Thank you for sending me a copy of the book on Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery. The Plaza is a beautiful way to honor our veterans. The book has some wonderfully poignant pictures that depict what words alone cannot. Hopefully I can visit one day."

- Phil Bryant, Governor of Mississippi

"Thank you for your kind gift of the Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery coffee table book. I appreciate you taking the time to share this collection on an important landmark  for our nation's veterans with me."

- Terence McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia

"On behalf of the patients and employees of the Wilmington VA Medical Center, we want to express our appreciation to you for the donation of two of the Patriot Plaza Coffee Table Book. We have placed one in our Patient Library and the other was placed in the Veteran's Coffee Lounge. Your thoughtfulness has enabled us to continue to provide the "extras" that improve the quality of life for our patients."

- Patricia Caldwell, Chief Voluntary Service at the Wilmington VA Medical Center


  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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