As our nation recognizes Veterans Day, many of us will gather in our communities at veterans’ memorials. Veterans’ memorials serve an important purpose, as they pay tribute today to the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. By providing a connection from the past to the present, veterans’ memorials enable people to remember and honor those who have served our great country. They also provide an opportunity for younger generations to realize the sacrifices made by past generations. History is shared, ensuring memorials are cared for in the future.
Because of our expertise at Coldspring in creating veterans’ and civic memorials, we’re often asked about the top items to consider when creating them. Here, we take a look at some of the most important considerations in veterans’ memorials.
The materials used to build a civic memorial are important, as they should be able to stand the test of time. When a community comes together to build a veterans’ memorial, granite is often the natural choice. Known for its permanence, longevity and ease of maintenance, granite has always ranked among the most popular building materials for military remembrances and veterans’ memorials. Cities and communities across the country seek this durable stone to create a lasting tribute to the soldiers and lives we will never forget.
Granite proves particularly durable in outdoor settings, where civic memorial projects are typically found. Not only is granite beautiful, but it’s also more durable and resistant to freeze-thaw cycles than most other hardscape materials. Depending on the type, granite is a 6 or 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which means it can withstand some of the harshest environments with relatively little upkeep.
Domestic stone suppliers offer numerous advantages related to the speed of delivery. Although the actual fabrication times for natural stone fabrication are similar for both domestic and international product sources, transportation from the factory to the project site can be significant with an international quarry or fabrication facility. Ocean voyages can range from three to five weeks, not including delays that can occur at the point of origin or customs at the port of entry. Be sure to keep these potential delays in mind. When the schedule is critical, a North American stone source is essential to ensuring a successful outcome for your client.
Today, advances in sandblasting and carving technology are allowing Coldspring to create art in natural stone thought impossible only decades ago. Photographs and other images can be transferred to veterans’ memorials with realistic detailing, using sandblast and carving techniques. Lettering can be carved and enhanced with a color element, and the precise replication of ornate elements is possible.
Like granite, bronze symbolizes permanence and is a popular companion to natural stone in veterans’ memorial projects. Often used for statues, emblems, markers and plaques embedded in the granite, bronze creates an interesting and visually appealing artistic element to any memorial.
With modern technology, it’s now possible to incorporate images into bronze elements. Coldspring’s laser technology produces photo-like relief images in bronze memorials, and it has significantly enhanced and streamlined the process for creating memorials. The new high-definition laser can create a three-dimensional pattern used in the pouring process. With this new process, an overall higher quality with more defined details is possible.
Incorporating images into bronze has opened new possibilities in memorial design. Photographs—no matter how tattered or aged—of subjects such as flags, scenes and soldiers now can be used to create dynamic tributes.
Designing a lasting veterans memorial offers more opportunities than ever before. By incorporating images, laser etching, sandblasting and bronze in granite, communities can create memorials that beautifully stand the test of time. To view inspiring examples, check out our Veterans Memorials case studies.
To learn more about natural stone for civic memorials, contact us today.