Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Always Lost: A Meditation on War

Always Lost: A Meditation on War
Exhibit Showing at Mesabi Range College
Virginia Campus Library Gallery
Grand Opening Night - January 16, 2014 at 4:30pm

Grand opening night for the exhibit "Always Lost: A Meditation on War" will be open for public display on Thursday, January 16, 2014 from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm in the Mesabi Range College Library Art Gallery. 
The Keynote speaker will be Barb O’Reilly. Barb O’Reilly is the Director of Women Veterans and Employment Initiatives for the MN Department of Veterans Affairs. In this role, she partners with federal, state and private agencies to promote recognition and respect for women veterans, to ensure access to quality and needed benefits and services, and to increase employment opportunities and potential for all Minnesota veterans.
Command Sergeant Major John S. Werner, honored guest, enlisted in 1969 as a combat engineer. Werner then enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1974. In 1989, Werner was selected as the Command Sergeant Major of the 367th Engineer Battalion. In November 2006, Werner was recalled as the Command Sergeant Major of the 372nd Engineer Group. Werner was mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom on August 1st, 2009 where he assumed duties as the first Command Sergeant Major. Werner has numerous awards and decorations highlighting a distinctive military career.
Refreshments will be available and this exhibit is free and open to the public.

The Components

The heart of Always Lost is the Wall of the Dead: individual photographs with names of the more than 6,500 U.S. military war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. The Always Lost project team is committed to keeping the Wall of the Dead current in honor of those who gave their lives and those who made it home.


The Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of Iraq War combat photographs (Breaking News Photography, 2004) by photojournalists David Leeson and Cheryl Diaz Meyer, who were embedded with Marine units in Iraq in 2003. The twenty photographs are on loan to Western Nevada College courtesy of The Dallas Morning News.


Ninety pieces of literary work, which includes prose and peotry by Northern Nevada writers along with historical and contemporary saysing on the subject of was - the "Meditations".

The story of Specialist Noah Pierce, who took his own life after completing two combat tours in Iraq, representing the thousands of veteran suicides. Included in the exhibition is Pierce’s poetry about his combat experiences, found after his death. Approximately eighteen veterans commit suicide every day.  



And, interviews and photographic portraits of three Western Nevada College student veterans, representing the thousands of military personnel returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Always Lost has evolved into a powerful meditation on the effect of war on each of us. It has become a sacred space in which to contemplate the personal costs and collective sacrifice of these particular conflicts, and consequently, of all wars. In the meantime, casualties continue to mount, and the Wall of the Dead continues to grow.

Read more about this exhibit at the Mesabi Range College in the January 10, 2014 edition of Hometown Focus, either in print or online at www.hometownfocus.us/news

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