Quinn Evans collaborated with Native artist Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne Arapaho) as well as Butzer Architects and Urbanism to realize the vision for this memorial. Set on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, the National Native American Veterans Memorial honors American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians who have served in the U.S. military. Entitled “Warriors’ Circle of Honor,” the project features a 12-foot tall stainless steel ring set atop a carved stone drum. The memorial features water flowing continuously from the center of the drum, and at the circle’s base; a fire can be lit for ceremonial occasions. The memorial was designed with accessibility and inclusion in mind, honoring traditions from a broad array of Native cultures. The memorial is surrounded by a circular seating area and a granite title wall inscribed with the five military branches. The thoughtful insertion of the memorial into the tranquil landscape enables visitors to experience and reflect upon the timeless, healing embrace of nature. A curving pathway, fully accessible, weaves among carefully preserved River Birch trees and large Grandfather Rocks. The design team worked collaboratively to address the project goals set forth by the Smithsonian Institution, the intent of the original act of the U.S. Congress that authorized the memorial’s creation, and the principles established by the tribal advisory committee. It evokes the complexity of values, cultures, and ancestral beliefs that sustained our country even before its founding.
All images provided by Alan Karchmer for NMAI, courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian.
“I want to commend … the whole team for a truly exceptional design and construction process. We couldn’t have done this project without your timeliness, thoroughness, dedication to detail, and tight coordination!”