World War I monument to be unveiled across from White House this fall: ‘Sacred art’

Published: 24 May 2024

By Angelica Stabile
via the FOX News website


Master sculptor Sabin Howard, pictured here, said he learned from his veteran models that this project would be for the American people. (Joe Weishaar; Sabin Howard Team)

Bronx-based sculptor reveals creative process behind bronze memorial depicting ‘A Soldier’s Journey’

A valiant nod to America’s military heroes is soon to be seen in Washington, D.C.

A WWI monument called “A Soldier’s Journey” will be unveiled in Pershing Park on Sept. 13, 2024, and will serve as the centerpiece of the National World War I Memorial in the nation’s capital.

The sprawling bronze sculpture, which measures about 60 feet long, depicts the heroic journey of a soldier — from the time he leaves home for war until he finally returns.

Fox News Digital spoke to master sculptor Sabin Howard, who took the lead on the project, about his artwork. He said it’s been a nine-year creative process.

Architect Joseph Weishaar, who lives in Washington, D.C., was just 25 years old when he won the opportunity to design the memorial through a blind, global competition against 350 other design teams in 2016 — and appointed Howard to sculpt it.

The Bronx-born artist, who had been sculpting for 35 years at that time, said he had an “epic” vision for the project.

“There’s a very clear message behind this sculpture. It’s very much about being human.”

“The way I saw this project from the beginning, I wanted to make something that was at the level of the Sistine Chapel and great works of art that were in the Italian Renaissance,” he said.

“I wanted to play forward that concept of sacred art at an epic level.”

When Howard first came up with the design iteration, he started by taking 12,000 images of models dressed in uniforms that were worn in battle.

“Some of the uniforms had photographs of family members in the pockets, and [the models] wore those same uniforms,” he said. “The nurses had uniforms that I borrowed from the Smithsonian Museum.”

“This is human-made,” Howard said. “That’s why it’s so visceral to people when they see it.” (Sabin Howard Team)

By 2017, Howard had spent 700 hours completing the drawing of the soldier’s journey, which he described as the “story of a soldier, a father, and an allegory for the United States that is the hero’s journey.”

He added, “It is the story of the soldier who leaves his family and enters into the brotherhood of arms, and then leads his men through battle, only to be shell-shocked at the cost of war that follows.”

Upon this soldier’s return home, Howard identified him as the “final figure to hand his daughter his helmet, and she is the next generation of World War II.

The sculptor said he considers his work to be a “movie in bronze” that can be followed from left to right as onlookers walk by.

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