The Big Spring Vietnam Memorial in Big Spring, Texas, is a memorial to Vietnam War veterans who lost their lives. The memorial stands at the intersection of Big Spring and 4th Streets, opposite the Big Spring City Hall.
The memorial itself consists of a large black granite block with the name and hometown engraved on two sides, and the dates 1963-1965 and 1966-1973, showing the time range for which the veterans died, engraved on two sides. The name and hometown appear engraved in curved lettering, while the dates are engraved in straight lettering. The block stands on a flat granite base surrounded by cobblestones.
The memorial was designed by local sculptor Barry King and dedicated in 1990. King spent almost four years working on the artwork for the memorial, which he estimated to be worth $20,000.
The memorial was the idea of local World War II veteran and city council member Jack Slack. The idea for a memorial had been proposed before, but Slack and the council eventually decided to proceed with it. The memorial was funded with private donations, with $6,000 of that provided by Slack himself.
The memorial was placed at the location suggested by Slack himself, which was at the intersection of Big Spring and 4th Streets across from city hall. The site had been suggested by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars because it had historically been the site of their meeting hall.
The memorial itself stands on a curved granite block approximately 25 feet (7.6 m) long and 10 feet (3.0 m) high. The block is flanked.
The US government knew that it was going to be hard to find a white elephant for the new memorial to US veterans of the Vietnam War. The veterans themselves were ambivalent about the memorial. They preferred not to remember the war at all. The memorial was a compromise, a way of honoring their sacrifice without forcing them to think about it.
The memorial’s designer, Paul Murdoch, wanted the memorial to be in Big Spring, but Big Spring, Texas, had none. So Murdoch designed one, though he had to make it from concrete and steel. It looked something like an upside-down swimming pool, but the service plaza was broad and spacious, with an amphitheater at one end, and a long, curving wall running along one side.
The memorial was extremely popular. Visitors, of all backgrounds, found the spring a place of solace and renewal. The wall, with its inscriptions and artwork, was a place of contemplation and remembrance.
But Big Spring’s spring, both man-made and natural, was short-lived. In 1970, a dam failure flooded the site, and the Big Spring Vietnam Memorial was no more.
The site of the memorial is now a memorial to itself. The memorial to the Spring of Big Spring, TX is a memorial to Big Spring, TX.
I loved this place. The most stunning memorial I have ever seen. The sculpture is by a guy named Jim Sanborn. It is behind an iron fence, so you can’t really see it properly from the road. You need to walk a little way off the road and park. Then you walk down through the woods to the memorial, which is a series of granite walls. In the middle of them are the 8 foot high pedestals, on which the names of the soldiers who died in the war are carved. You can see names on both sides of the wall.