For their gift to the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Class 2012 imagined a depiction of individuals reflecting on the years of combat our country has faced since September 11, 2001. While the years following that grim day have been arduous, the professionals shown here were, and continue to be, resolute in their mission. Class 2012 dedicates this painting to these unmatched professionals.
"Remembrance" is a painting that evokes a sense of both sacrifice and achievement. It features a line of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen of the United States that served in Afghanistan and Iraq during the last decade. Many have removed their helmets symbolizing our numerous accomplishments and a well-deserved respite from conflict. The background depicted is Afghanistan, whose stark, austere mountains represent the extraordinary challenges our forces faced during this time, and where this long war began and continues today. The light in the background suggests a sunrise, which serves as a metaphor for a strengthening United States despite current challenges. All face toward the dawn except the surgeon whose eyes are downcast as he contemplates the scope of the suffering he has seen and alleviated, and a single soldier looking over his shoulder keeping a vigilant watch. The determination on the faces of all depicted suggests a realization that peace is at best an ephemeral state, and can be maintained only through the existence of an elite, loyal, and steadfast military.