|Remembering by Sutton Betti, bronze, 2013, Norfolk Veterans Home, Norfolk, NE|
|Remembering by Sutton Betti, bronze 2013, Norfolk Veterans Home, Norfolk, NE|
|Sutton Betti’s Remembering sculpture, bronze 2015, Wayne County Veterans Memorial, Wayne, NE|
It has been almost one year since the sudden death of my father Dave Betti on April 30, 2015. A day that started out as great as I had just sold a bronze casting of Remembering the Fallen sculpture (which was my dad’s favorite bronze military sculpture). The joy ended abruptly when he passed away suddenly while walking his dog Sarge.
A big reason that my dad had last visited me in Colorado was to see my Remembering sculpture in clay. In early 2013, I was commissioned to create the kneeling US Marine through Norfolk Veterans Park in Norfolk, Nebraska. I consulted closely with my dad over the phone during the creation of the sculpture. There were many details that I wanted to accurately portray and my dad helped with several of them. My dad was president of the Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County for many years and only recently before his passing had he stepped down as president. I naturally went to him for advice as he was very knowledgable about the US marines, weaponry, uniforms, etc.
We had several discussions about the statue and that year he flew to Colorado to see it take shape and to potentially help with the installation in Nebraska. It’s completion, however, was delayed so instead we spent quality time together.
The sculpture was a favorite of his. For the next two years he would talk about it with me, his friends, fellow vets and members of the VVVC. I think we were able to bond ever closer through this statue for the last two years of his life. It meant something to him. And that, to me, meant the world.