Remembering Heroes (Vietnam War) is a life size bronze military sculpture and the third life size kneeling soldier in the Remembering series. The bronze sculpture is a Vietnam era US Marine with his hand against a wall. Remembering (War on Terror) is also a life size bronze military sculpture and the first sculpture made in the series.
Both bronze sculptures are life size. Each of them remembers the sad and unfortunate cost of war and honors the fallen. The Vietnam soldier has an M16 rifle and the modern War on Terror soldier has an M4. Both are clutching a helmet in right hand although the Vietnam soldier has a pack of marlboros strapped to his helmet. Both have an outstretched left arm designed to rest against a stone wall. In addition, both are US Marines. But they are from two different wars separated by 30 years.
Remembering (War on Terror)
When I created the Remembering (War on Terror) sculpture I never imagined it would lead to creating other military sculptures. Remembering was the second military themed sculpture I had created (the first being a Tuskegee Airman). From the moment it was installed, I started getting inquiries about it and creating new sculptures. I get great joy in connecting with people and hearing their responses to Remembering. However, it is sometimes followed by a personal story of loss.
Without a doubt, Remembering (War on Terror) was the first time I felt a sense of purpose with my art in honoring service members. I think a part of it was from my dads connection to the sculpture and what he did for Veterans. What I had created gave him joy, which in turn gave me a sense of purpose. And this continues to this day.
As a US Marine, my dad Dave Betti felt proud and honored at what I was creating and the direction I was going with my art. Enough so, that he visited me in Colorado in 2013 to see the sculpture in its early stages. As President of the Vietnam Veterans of Ventura county, it gave him joy to see what his only son was working on. A closer bond was formed, then had been previous. Sadly it would be the last time I’d see my dad.
Remembering Heroes (Vietnam War)
Remembering Heroes (Vietnam War) bronze sculpture was created at the 6 year anniversary of my dads death. As such, the sculpture has a different meaning for me then it does to the Veterans who reflect on it. Although it is designed to remember the heroes we lost during the war in Vietnam, it is also a personal homage to my late father and all that he did for the Vietnam vets in Southern California.