“Above and Beyond”
"Above and Beyond" became a permanent feature
at the National Veterans Art Museum, May 26, 2001. Richard Steinbock and Ned
Broderick developed the idea to create a piece that would commemorate all the
men and women who died in the Vietnam War. Their goal was to make people
comprehend how many lives were lost, all the "wasted potential," and all the
people who were affected by the loss. They struggled with finding a way to
include all the names of the soldiers in the artwork. The only other memorial
with all the names listed is the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C.
Although they had many ideas, not one idea seemed appropriate. Then one day
Richard noticed Ned's dog tags on his desk and that was when he knew what to
create. They would make a dog tag for every soldier and include the name, date
when killed, and branch of service. Ned created the design and the tags would be
arranged as if they were soldiers standing in formation, shoulder to shoulder.
The sculpture would start with the dog tags of the first person killed and end
with the dog tags of the last person killed. There would also be space reserved
for veterans who would die later from diseases or injuries resulting from the
Richard created a model and the fund-raising began. Although many people
contributed their time and energy, Richard and Ned needed cash. They offered to
make dog tags, like the ones being used in their sculpture for anyone who wanted
one, at $25 per dog tags. Richard typed out the dog tags, working 12 hours a
day, seven days a week and holidays. Ned, along with some friends who had served
with him, helped to hang all the tags. Emotions ran high when hanging the tags
of people they knew. Finally, after two years, the sculpture was complete.
"Above and Beyond" debuted in the atrium of the museum on May 26, 2001 to
coincide with the city's Memorial Day Parade. The reactions have been positive
and people from all over the country and the world have come to see it.
When visitors first enter the museum, they
will hear a sound like wind chimes coming from above them and their attention
will be drawn upward 24 feet to the ceiling of the two-story high atrium.
Dog tags of the more than 58,000 service men and women who died in the Vietnam
War hang from the ceiling of the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago on
Veterans Day, November 11, 2010. The 10-by-40-foot sculpture, entitled Above &
Beyond, was designed by Ned Broderick and Richard Steinbock. The tens of
thousands of metal dog tags are suspended 24 feet in the air, 1 inch apart, from
fine lines that allow them to move and chime with shifting air currents. Museum
employees using a kiosk and laser pointer help visitors locate the exact dog tag
with the imprinted name of their lost friend or relative.
Veterans Art Museum
The National Veterans Art Museum inspires
greater understanding of the real impact of war with a focus on Vietnam. The
museum collects, preserves and exhibits art inspired by combat and created by