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I've Got Your Back

This shot of the "Three Servicemen" (or "Three Soldiers") statue at the Vietnam Wall to me says a lot about brotherhood, friendship and ties formed in war. It's not the usual frontal view of Frederick Hart's statue, which sits on a rise above "the wall."

Hart said his goal was to create a sculpture that would be a moving evocation of the experience and service of the Vietnam veteran. He described it this way: "The portrayal of the figures is consistent with history. They wear the uniform and carry the equipment of war; they are young. The contrast between the innocence of their youth and the weapons of war underscores the poignancy of their sacrifice. There is about them the physical contact and sense of unity that bespeaks the bonds of love and sacrifice that is the nature of men at war. And yet they are each alone. Their strength and their vulnerability are both evident. Their true heroism lies in these bonds of loyalty in the face of their aloneness and their vulnerability."

You can interpret this photo any way you like. I've always thought the three were scouting the wall for the names of their buddies.

The man on the right, M60 machinegun at the ready, could well be assuring his friend, "They're down there. If you want to take a look, I've got your back."

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