America's flag and Oregon's flag enclose the flame trees and design spiral of the Living Memorial. Our Living Memorial "lives" by virtue of the never-ending cycle of each season rising to unfold (and fulfill) its role and then making way for the season to follow. This "Cycle of Life" concept was the brainchild of Doug Macy.
VIETNAM VETERANS OF OREGON
The multi-colored "flame-tree" design was mine (Jud Blakely) based off a leaf-tree design that came from someone else. I wanted to show the cycle of seasons in the colors we associate with those seasons: green for spring and summer, then yellow and red for autumn that leads into the chill, early darkness, and hibernation of winter.
Doug Macy had an empathetic gift that allowed him to tap into the deeper feelings that motivated those he designed for. He was blessed and yet cursed by this gift in that he tended to take on the burden of their drive to bring into being a truthful symbol that did justice to those feelings. In the VVOMF Living Memorial, he did.
This drawing of a combat infantryman kneeling to pay honor to a fallen comrade is a moving sketch done by Frederick Foote. It deserves a note of thanks and praise. Even so, I wasn't able to include the sketch as a continuing part of the symbolism of the Living Memorial. Well done, Mr. Foote. You convey our fatigue and loss.