AIAGE Excellence 2009

Kern Veterans Memorial

AIAGE, Excellence Award 2009 & Beautiful Bakersfield, Chairman’s Award 2008

The memorial is a spiritual or contemplative walk. The outer area of the plaza is circular and level, allowing viewers to continue at that level as they desire. As the viewers decide to become more engaged with the memorial, they can continue their journey inward, moving closer to the center of the memorial. As with a labyrinth, this journey is intended to be personal and serene. The path begins to slope gradually upward, moving away from the plane of the street level, indicating a change in approach. At this new level, viewers move inward, closer to the sculpture of the memorial.


The sculpture at the center begins a change of material. Rising from the platform surface is a curved granite sculpture that increases in height. Along the face of this sculpture are the words “To Honor Those Who Served.”


From there, a glass and steel sculpture begins, becoming a tightening and ever-taller spiral, the imagery of an unfurling flag. Glass panels at the perimeter present the names of Kern County veterans who are MIA/KIA. An interactive kiosk allows any name of a Kern County veteran to be searched and viewed.


The memorial is forward-looking—not tied solely to the past but acknowledging the strength of our veterans while pointing in a positive way to the future. The journey away from this memorial happens as the journey began: traversing to the center of a labyrinth with a quiet, contemplative, and spiritual walk.

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