The Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) has joined with Western Nevada College arts and humanities exhibition “Always Lost: A Meditation on War” organizers to bring the unique war memorial to Nevada communities. As part of Nevada’s 150th Sesquicentennial Celebration, the exhibit will continue its Nevada tour in Las Vegas as part of the 93rd Disabled American Veterans and Auxiliary National Convention at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
The exhibit will be on display Friday, August 7-12, form 8.m. until 4 p.m. each day except August 12 when the display will close at noon. The exhibit will be free and open to the public.
The NDVS is underwriting the costs of the Nevada tour as part of its veterans outreach program and to help bridge the gap between the civilian and military populations. “Every Nevadan should have an opportunity to see this exhibit remembering these Americans who served and were lost in the cause of freedom. We’re honored to help bring this exhibit to everyone in the state,” says NDVS Director, Kat Miller.
“DAV is proud to bring this exhibit to Las Vegas, not only for our members to honor their fallen brothers and sisters, but to enable the general public to reflect upon the sacrifices made by the men and women who served,” said National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “Physical, mental and emotional wounds can make the road to recovery difficult and DAV understands how important it is for our nation to honor and remember the sacrifices our heroes made in defense of our great nation.”
The exhibition, created by WNC-Carson City students, has received national acclaim. In fall 2008, upon seeing The New York Times “Roster of the Dead,” WNC sociology professor Don Carlson observed that the Iraq War “has been one of the most impersonal wars the U.S. ever fought.” Carlson and English professor Marilee Swirczek envisioned a photography and poetry exhibition that would bring home the personal and collective costs of war.
After its installation at WNC in spring 2009, inquiries came from across the country. “Always Lost” was formatted for travel through a Nevada Arts Council grant, made its national debut at the University of Wisconsin-Marinette in fall 2010, and has been touring the nation since then. A donation by the Carson Nugget/Community First initiative funded a second edition of the exhibition, which will tour our state.
The exhibit includes the “Wall of the Dead”: individual photographs and names of U.S. service members who have fallen during the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News, the exhibition features the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of Iraq War combat photographs (2004) by David Leeson and Cheryl Diaz Meyer, with literary work by Professor Swirczek’s creative writing classes, veterans, their families and other Nevada writers.
“Always Lost is one of the most personalizing exhibits on war I’ve ever witnessed,” says Miller. “To look into the eyes of over 6,500 who have fallen in service to our country, to see the images and read the words of those serving and family members stirs so many emotions.”
“Always Lost” began its Nevada 150th tour schedule at the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum during July, and is scheduled at the Nevada State Museum – Springs Preserve in Las Vegas this October and November,” says Project Manager Amy Roby. “We have several venues scheduled in 2015 and hope to bring the exhibition to as many Nevada communities as possible. It’s fitting that during this Sesquicentennial celebration, our Battle Born state honors this new generation of veterans—those who gave their lives as well as those who made it home.”
“Always Lost: A Meditation on War” is open to the public at most locations. For more information, including “The Story of Always Lost” video, visit http://www.wnc.edu/always_lost/.
To watch for “Always Lost” and other Nevada 150th events, visit https://www.nevada150.org/.
Event Information: Free to the public
August 7-12 – 8 am – 4 pm (8/12, 8am – noon)
Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
3645 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
General information: (202) 641-4822