Thursday, April 21, 2016

#116, Remembering dad and Remembering the Fallen

Remembering the Fallen bronze
Remembering by Sutton Betti, bronze, 2013, Norfolk Veterans Home, Norfolk, NE





remembering the fallen sculpture
Remembering by Sutton Betti, bronze 2013, Norfolk Veterans Home, Norfolk, NE

remembering the fallen sculpture
Remembering by Sutton Betti, bronze 2015, Wayne County Veterans Memorial, Wayne, NE
It has been almost exactly one year since my father's passing on April 30, 2015. A day that started out as a great day as I had just sold bronze casting #2/10 of my sculpture Remembering the Fallen (which was my dad's favorite sculpture) quickly ended up as the worst day of my life when I learned that my dad passed away suddenly while walking his dog Sarge.

The sculpture "Remembering the Fallen" was a big reason that my dad had last visited me in Colorado. In early 2013, I was commissioned to create the kneeling US Marine through Norfolk Veterans Park in Norfolk, Nebraska and I consulted closely with my dad during it's creation over the phone. My dad was president of the Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County for many years and only recently before his passing he had stepped down as president of the southern California branch. He was a big supporter of veterans' rights and was also very knowledgable about the US marines, weaponry, uniforms, etc. and so I constantly went to him for advice. We had many discussions about the statue and in 2013 he flew to Colorado to see the statue take shape in bronze and to help with the installation in Nebraska. The installation, however, was delayed so instead we spent quality time together.

Although he didn't get to help with the installation in 2013, the sculpture ended up being his favorite sculpture and for the next two years he would talk about it with me, his friends, fellow vets and members of the VVVC. I think, in some ways, we were able to bond even more through this statue for the last two years of his life. It meant something to him. And THAT meant the world to me.