NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — In Norfolk, local businessmen are working to honor our military in the form of art. A new mural is under construction in the NEON District.
If you ask Ed O’Brien what’s the best way to honor the men and women serving our military, he might tell you it’s with a one-of-a-kind mural.
“Being one of the largest military installations in the country, Norfolk, Virginia. We thought it would be fitting especially around Veterans Day to do a mural for our fallen heroes,” he said.
Standing nearly 30 feet tall and 100 feet wide, this mural behind O’Brien and his partner Bill White’s local business features every single branch. He hopes it leaves a message of unity.
“Especially with the world being in such a state of flux right now and of course we wouldn’t have the freedoms that we have today if it wasn’t for the people fighting overseas for those freedoms,” he explains.
But this project has a much deeper meaning for O’Brien.
“My father was a senior chief in the United States Navy, he was a ship serviceman. He fought in World War II, he fought in the Korean conflict, he fought in Vietnam and he is buried at Arlington National Cemetery,” O’Brien explained.
This is the 17th work of art featured in artist Sam Welty’s series across the country called ‘Remembering the Honored Fallen’. He said its design is meant to speak to everyone who walks by.
“You might notice none of the people have faces. The specific reason for that is so that anyone who walks by this can envision themselves as one of these people,” explained Welty.
And although they have only just begun, their message is already clear.
“We love you, keep doing what you’re doing so we can have the freedoms that we have,” O’Brien said.
Welty says weather permitting, he hopes to be done before Thanksgiving.. For more information, click here.