From the Collection of The Patterson Foundation
Sarasota National Cemetery
The two curved walls at the east entrance open a concave space in the gateway, which is dramatically set apart from the ceremonial amphitheater of Patriot Plaza. Both walls present a nest motif. On the right side of the east entrance, the viewer finds a nest occupied by an adult American Bald Eagle and an eaglet.
Like a human dwelling, the nest is a “Home” where acts of everyday life occur. Here, the eagle, like a soldier, learns to protect “Home,” knowing that one day she or he may have to leave in order to protect freedoms.
The left wall presents another nest motif, but here the nest is not occupied. The branches are interlaced with Abraham Lincoln’s call to action at the end of his second inaugural address: "…let us strive…to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan…”
Through national symbols and the values they evoke, many become one. All are included in the American Bald Eagle's embrace.The American Bald Eagle became our national symbol for its courage and loyalty to family. Bald Eagles build elaborate nests to which they return year after year to raise their young.
Photo: Bobbie O'Brien WUSF Public Media