San Jose Veterans Memorial, Pablo Castro
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San Jose, California

A sanctuary of 100 flags on stainless steel poles lies beyond a wall of cast glass and a threshold inlaid with military insignias and personal mementos. Specific memories are offered against a field of flags that stand as much for patriotic sentiments as they do for the gravity of war.

The lack of formal definition of the whole, the neutrality of color, and the repetition of an anonymous flag, like the marker of the unknown soldier, honor no one event; without glorifying war, they embody elation and loss, pride and sacrifice, courage and suffering. The snapping and drumming of flags in the wind and the shadows of luminous silk moving across the ground: these simple occurrences played against honorific recollections summon the conscience of a city's populace.

This first prize winning entry to the San Jose Veterans Memorial Design Competition was completed in San Jose, California in 1994 by Pablo Castro as partner and founder of Manhattan Projects.