The U.S. led the war against the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001-2014 (Ahmed 1). Newly elected president requested the U.S. army to delay the troops until some local force could be left behind to assist in maintaining security in the country. However, this delay resulted to more deaths of the military forces. Apparently, at least 2,200 soldiers were killed in the war (Mora 1). Unfortunately, none of the soldiers has been honored publicly. This proposal of construction of a monument is developed, therefore, out of respect for the fallen heroes. It will be created in a quiet harmonious place for resting and for meditation of the families and loved ones of the fallen heroes. The monument serves as a reminder of the past battles and hope of victory over the terrorists.
As early as 2012, the U.S. was planning of how they were to attack the terrorists in Afghanistan after 2014. The former President Obama being on the forefront, the U.S combat operation was to end in December 2014. Some of them, at least 9,000 troops were to remain in Afghanistan to train the local forces and maintain victory against the Al-Qaeda remnants. The troops were to be removed entirely from the nation by the end of 2016. These plans were confirmed by the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement in 2014 between the two nations (International Committee of the Red Cross 1).
After the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban who were in power attacked the U.S on September 11, a strategy was made on revenge. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) actively participated in the war. Come December 2014 our heroes were to come back and leave behind some of them according to the agreement (Nordland 1). However, the newly elected Afghan president Ashraf GhaniAhmadzai delayed to act on his promise (Ahmed 1). Failure on the side of the president resulted to more deaths because of the hostile environment (Patience 1).
In the latest wars in Afghanistan, U.S military deaths have increased four-fold from 558 to 2,207. Majority of these fatalities are battle-related. Most of our heroes succumbed to homemade bombs that were set for them within the major Afghan provinces and near the border with Pakistan. According to Patience (1), more fatalities were suffered in the southern Afghanistan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar than in other places in the country. The major cause of high death rates in the two provinces is because Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban.
Even as the troops were preparing to leave, revolutionary activities were getting higher in the north and in the east, which had not been involved in fighting until recently. This places the Afghan government in a dangerous situation even as it governs approximately 64% of the country, with the Taliban controlling 10% of the remaining portion (Patience 1). Despite the fact that the ISIS is on the increase, the battle in Afghanistan is not in vain as the terror groups have been severely reduced in number. The situation is hopeful since the Afghan government is still in the field. Besides, other nations such as the United Kingdom sent an additional of 50 troops to Afghanistan to respond to terrorism mission and take part in the leadership development.
To recognize every fallen hero, the structure will be a freestanding sculptural wall, facing the interior of the site. It will consist of at least 3,000-cast glass that is to some degree clear with tiles and imprinted with names of the soldiers. As one takes a walk in the park, the monument will appear as a rift in the earth with its long polished black stall coming from and moving back into the earth. As one approaches the memorial, the ground will slope gently downward and low walls will emerge on the sides form the ground to a higher point ahead. The site will be covered in grass to draw attention to the carved names on the memorial walls. The names, as they appear infinite in number, will express a sense of devastating numbers and unify the heroes.
Few existing elements such as the weapons will be included in the wall. If the structure will be enclosed, then the roof will be made of two unclear walls of similar materials as slope next to it. The wooden planking will be for the floor and it will expose the misted surface below. The location will be pleasant-sounding for meditation and resting. It will have polished black granite walls with mirror-like surfaces, which will reflect the images of the surrounding vegetation. The walls will point to other monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial to draw a historical context of the nation. The names will be decorated chronologically of the dates of casualty. It will further depict series of human sacrifices and giving every name special position in the background of the country.
To bring more understanding of the reality of such loss, every individual visiting the place will have to come to terms with the loss. As death affects every person in a unique manner, the area within the memorial will be quite for personal reflection and private reckoning. A space for contemplation will be left for quite visitation and for families and loved ones of the victims. This neighborhood will accommodate seating and become closed off for private ceremonies. Facing northwards, a wall of hope will be erected with irregular vertical lines of tiles, which will be developed by artists around Europe. The wall will stretch up from the floor to the roof. This region will symbolize international peace, cooperation, and hope.
At the center of the monument, there will be a space to recognize the survivors and the entire list of those soldiers who risked their lives to save the nation, including the name of the countries. On the outer wall that faces the interior of the monument, there will be a mission statement, which will be useful in guiding all visitors to the significance of the monument. Out of respect of the fallen heroes, the center of the monument will be created by a round element with a circular opening to reveal the water flowing below. It will be lit by the sky light in the circular ring below.
The black granite walls will be 300 feet long, 15 feet below the ground at the lowest point and gradually ascending to the ground to act as a sound barrier. The height and the length however will not appear so much enclosing. The actual area will be wide and low to allow a sense of privacy. From the southern region, sunlight well is allowed to expose the grassy park within the walls, thereby adding some elements of serenity of the locale.
Justification.The memorial will be for the fallen heroes who fought in Afghanistan to secure our boundary against the terrorists. The memorial is committed to the dead and for the living to remember these fallen heroes. The conception of the monument is to symbolize the commitment of the soldiers to the security of the nation. It will also serve as a living testimony that global cooperation is possible.
Location. The proposed location for the monument is Washington D.C., which is the heart of all Americans. The memorial is sensitive to the plans of the architects as it reinforces an impressive slurry wall, with untouched footprints and meditative use of water. The memorial indicates a universal icon of sensitive reflection as it creates a powerful setting. The structure will be different from other memorial structures like museums and visitor centers. This is because it would be made of wood planking and stone to form distinctive, warm, natural, and inviting flooring. At the location of the visible footprints, there would be mist, which will cover dark polished stones to reflect the varying sky. The footprints will therefore be a global recognized symbol of poetic contemplation through the incorporation of the sky, space, the universe, and the emotions.
The structures will protrude out to some extent over the misted region to allow reflection of natural light to the structure. This will create a calm, glowing, and meditative light on the floor of the monument. Natural light is moreover coordinated to extend a moving and subtly thoughtful experience. A concrete wall will be erected on the southward edge of the memorial site. This will be blank for every stopover to cover a non-forbidden space to focus individual thoughts. By remaining uncluttered, the new concrete wall can be in use to make bigger upcoming expansion at the location.
Symbolism. By combining these thoughtful planes one can sit and look over the double representation of the footprints and the sky. This place is useful for reflection on the tragic events. In addition to the significance of the site, the place will have plantings of indigenous trees such as the southern ramp to create a ordinary feel to the site. Additional temporary seats will be provided near the footprints to encourage more people to visit the location. The seats will further create a welcoming environment. The entrances and exits to the structures will be through raised planked walkways that will be connected to make a remarkable footpath as people come near the monument.
The memorial will be created to remember the fallen heroes who died fighting the terrorist in Afghanistan. The war was a result of the 2011 terrorist attack that killed more than 100 civilians in the American soil. The memorial is to be found in Washington D.C. with its feet extending towards the Lincoln memorial. The walls, slanted on one side to the side of the earth, will be 15 feet below the ground. The walls will be constructed from polished granite with the names of the soldier engraved in Trajan letter. The main objective of constructing the monument is to remember our fallen heroes.
Ahmed, Azam. “The Hardest (and Most Important) Job in Afghanistan,”.The New York Times Magazine, 2015, March 4
International Committee of the Red Cross.“Afghanistan: Escalating Violence Brings Increased Suffering to War Weary Afghans.”. 2015, February 9
Mora Edwin.“Increase 4-Fold From 558 to 2,207 under Obama’s Watch.”Breitbart, 2014 Accessed on 21st February 2017
Nordland, Rod.”War Deaths Top 13,000 in Afghan Security Forces,”.The New York Times, 2014
Patience, Martin. “Coping with a Traumatized Nation,”.BBC News, 2009. . Accessed on February 21st 2017