April 3, 2014

'Always Lost' Adds California to Tour

“Always Lost: A Meditation on War” has been touching lives from Carson City to Washington, D.C., during its five-year exhibition tour. Now, the personal tribute to Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom casualties and survivors will reach Californians for the first time.

Project manager Amy Roby said arrangements have been made to show the powerful and emotionally provoking exhibit at the Marin County Free Library in San Rafael, Calif., May 1 through June 15.

The gripping exhibit recently was presented at the Mesabi Range Community & Technical College in Virginia, Minn. The 2014 tour will also take “Always Lost” to the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul, Minn., and then back to Nevada, at the East Ely Railroad Museum Depot and the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas. The latter exhibitions are part of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services Sesquicentennial Tour.

Roby said at least three exhibitions are planned for 2015: a return to the Minnesota Humanities center in St. Paul, as well as a return to the Legislative Building in Carson City. In addition, the exhibition tour will reach Texas for the first time with an autumn showing at the Patrick Health Public Library in Boerne.

The continuing exhibition tours are made possible through grants, donations and volunteerism.

The exhibit was created at Western Nevada College from what began as a class writing assignment. It has become a personal tribute to and recognition of the more than 6,800 U.S. military war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. It includes literary work by professor emeritus Marilee Swirczek’s creative writing classes, veterans and their families, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs by Dallas Morning News photographers and profiles of three WNC student-veterans. In addition, the exhibit includes poetry and the story of Noah Pierce, an Army specialist who took his own life after returning from two tours of Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The exhibit’s focal point is the Wall of the Dead, which includes photographs and names of all of the casualties from the two wars.

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