Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bernie's Ramblings: Events in History and Art Inspiration... 25 years ago today.

Events in history are often inspiration for my paintings... but when history hits on a personal level sometimes I find myself captivated to paint a scene for reasons beyond mere aesthetics or nostalgia.

Such a historical event happened to our small community 25 years ago today. It was the first day that the war on terrorism began with the largest non-nuclear explosion since World War II... the Beirut bombing.
In the early morning of October 23, 1983, the First Battalion, 8th Marines Headquarters building was destroyed by a non-Lebanese, terrorist-driven truck, laden with compressed gas-enhanced explosives. This truck, like many others, had become a familiar sight at the airport and so did not raise any alarm on this morning. The resulting explosion and the collapse of the building killed 241 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers.

Many of the victims of this atrocity were residents of Jacksonville, North Carolina. They were known as fathers, neighbors, fellow church members, and little league baseball and soccer coaches. The community was stunned over the loss of these fine men and donations began to flow to their memory. This became the "birth" of the Beirut Memorial where their names are engraved along side "They Came In Peace"...

This tragic event reminds us of how fragile life is, how costly freedom is, and how much our community appreciates the military! On a personal level I have included a couple paintings inspired by this day in history...

"They Came In Peace"... 24"x24" Oil on Textured Stretched Canvas, 2005.

"A Tribute to Gold Star Moms" ... 10x8" Oil on Linen, en plein aire, April 2008.
Read the story behind this painting HERE...
(click on image to enlarge)

Here is the painting my daughter Olivia (six years old at the time) did the same day...
"Honoring Marines"... 10x8" Acyclic on canvas
Here are some recent articles in our local newspaper... The Daily News... highlighting the event, memorial, and anniversary.

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