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Artist uses sun to honor veterans in Arizona

Posted November 11, 2014

Anthem Veterans Memorial

A crowd of 5,000 people gathered on Nov. 11, 2001, in Anthem Community Park near Phoenix, Arizona for the dedication of a new veterans memorial.

While the memorial has many elements seen in other memorials around the country, they are arranged in a very unique way. Local artist Renee Palmer-Jones, along with civil engineer Jim Martin, created a design that would ensure Veterans Day will be marked each year with the help of the sun.

Construction was funded in part by the sale of engraved red bricks recognizing individuals who have served. The United States Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corp and Army are represented by a rising group of white marble pillars aligned by Martin along 162º azimuth (south-southeast).

Each pillar has an elliptical hole cut at a 37º angle to the ground.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the sun shines through those precisely aligned pillars to illuminate a colorful glass mosaic of the Great Seal of the United States created by Palmer-Jones at the center of the memorial.

The effect should look great on Veterans Day 2014, with clear blue skies forecast for the Phoenix area.


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  • Tony Rice Nov 11, 2014
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    In Memorial Hall in the Canadian War Museum, the tombstone of the unknown soldier is illuminated by a window Nov 11 at 11am EST (Remembrance Day) using the same technique


  • Tony Rice Nov 11, 2014
    user avatar

    I did the math and the only other time the sun is in the right position to illuminate the great seal is January 30 at 11:41 am MST. Only on Veterans Day will the seal be illuminated at 11:00 am

  • firefalcon100 Nov 11, 2014

    that is pretty dang cool. the only thing to make it better if they could have figured out a way to have the seals for the different branches show up in the hours before the 11th hour.