Mardie Rees, war memorial sculpture
Soul of the Forward and Faithful
WWII U.S. Marine Raider Memorial
“For the Soul of the elite force unit is its men. And if there is one thing the Raiders didn’t lack, it was soul.” — Robert A. Buerlein
Over the last year I have been sculpting a work to commemorate our fathers and grandfathers who bravely fought in WWII to bring peace and freedom back to the Pacific. Although extremely challenging, this year has been about growth in several areas. I’ve immersed myself in the Raiders’ heroic stories and the details of their specialized equipment. I wished to sculpt the Raiders in their truest form, and the result is a work that honors those great Americans who combined their skills to work together in Harmony, with conviction, and soul.
The U.S. Marine Raiders were one of America’s first elite special forces unit created to serve in the Pacific theater and strike back at the Japanese Empire. They are the grandfathers of today’s Reconnaissance Marines, MarDet 1 Program, and the Critical Skill Operators of MARSOC. As their name states, they were responsible for raiding enemy positions and many other types of unconventional missions. Therefore, they were deployed constantly and considerably forward of the main body of Marines in the 1st Marine Division or brigade. Raiders pioneered insertion and extraction methods to reach their objectives far forward of the main body that are used by our SOF units today.
The sculpture presents a Marine Raider holding his Browning Automatic Rifle, a Dog handler and his German Shepherd, along with a Navajo Code Talker. In the background foliage there are four additional Raiders depicting further breadth of weaponry, gear, and responsibility. Though these particular men may not have fought side by side, their dedication to their specific roles and each other allowed the United States to preserve that which we cherish – freedom.
The sculpture is currently being cast in bronze at Two Ravens Studio Foundry in Tacoma, WA.
Would you like to see the Sculpture in Person?
The sculpture will be traveling and on exhibit at several museums before it’s final destination – inside the National Marine Corps Museum. There are events and sculpture unveilings being planned for 2014!
July 2014* – Tacoma, WA
August 9th 2014 – N. San Diego, CA, Raider Reunion Banquet, Town & Country Resort & Spa 500 Hotel Circle
Fall 2014 – Laguna College of Art and Design Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
Late 2014 – National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, VA
April 2, 2014