In honor of Memorial Day, we present works of art depicting scenes from various American wars of the last two centuries.
In his book “From Here to Eternity,” James Jones described the magic moment when his lead character first picked up a bugle. The young man had loved the blues, and now he would be able to play them. He said the blues “gave him something, an understanding, a first hint that pain might not be pointless if you could only turn it into something.”
Jones turned his own pain into a great novel. And, in the pictures below, you can see how different artists have turned the pain of war into something—images we hope you never forget.
ART FROM THE WAR WITH IRAQ
Please click on the above link to see the whole series of images—more fascinating than horrifying—created by David Lewis-Baker, based on the works of unknown photographers.
Car salvaged from the bombing of a street book market, now at the Imperial War Museum in London.
ART FROM VIETNAM WAR
ART FROM WORLD WAR II
Inspired by a dump of wrecked aircraft in Oxfordshire. “The thing looked to me suddenly, like a great inundating sea … the breakers rearing up and crashing on the plain. And then, no: nothing moves, it is not water or even ice, it is something static and dead.’
ART FROM WORLD WAR I
“The paths of glory have led these soldiers to a death in a wasteland, imprisoned by barbed wire, faces down, anonymous and unrecognizable, slowly decomposing into the landscape.” Posted by Gerry Cordon.
ART BY VETERANS WITH PTSD
An exhibit at Southwestern University Art Gallery, September 14, 2013, of paintings by veterans suffering from PTSD in an art therapy program. The paintings are not titled, and the artists were not named. They paint to ease their pain and to make sense of their lives.
THE WOUNDED TREES
The following pictures show some trees in the Nevsky Pyatachok area of Russia that somehow came into contact with war equipment during World War II—and absorbed it. They just kept on growing.
Perhaps war veterans are a little like these trees. Living and thriving, with something buried deeply within them.
“The remains of a rotted Mannlicher Carcano rifle rest against the trunk of the left tree and a Maxim machine gun sticks out of the ground on the right.”
Life goes on.