A SPIRAL OF LIFE
WHO CAME UP WITH THE DESIGN?
(by Jud Blakely)
Simple...yet...profound. The symbol of the Memorial is a spiral that seeks to capture the passage of life from birth to death...no matter the age a life ends and the soul moves on. I was not present at the lunch (four decades ago in Portland) when the spiral was sketched out.
There was a small handful of highly motivated vets at this casual lunch early in developing the vision of what a memorial should consist of and convey. No formal blueprint had begun to take shape; it was more a vague but energizing vision in search of a clear concept.
VIETNAM VETERANS OF OREGON
Mike Goldade told me about a lunch in 1983 (or '84) where the spiral "layout" of the Memorial took shape. Jerome Jackson, a former Army medic, drew it out on a napkin. If that napkin still exists, no one has a clue where. I imagine it looked something like the above...
When I told Mike that I hadn't heard Jerome's name before, he told me Jackson was a great guy and I would've really liked him. Note: being rated "a great guy" is the highest rating males in our age cohort can be given. There is no higher status...and it's earned over time.
Jerome was among the dedicated group of vets who washed cars in the early days of fund-raising for the Memorial. I wish I knew how many cars they washed because the number would be one more yardstick of how dedicated they were. Great Guys, all of them. Brothers.