The Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) has joined with Western Nevada College arts and humanities exhibition â€œAlways Lost: A Meditation on Warâ€ organizers to bring the unique war memorial to Nevada communities. As part of Nevadaâ€™s 150th Sesquicentennial Celebration, the exhibit will begin its Nevada tour in Ely at the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum, July 1-31, 2014, and will be travel to additional Nevada venues through 2015.
The NDVS will underwrite costs of the Nevada tour as part of its veterans outreach program and to help bridge the gap between the civilian and military populations. â€œEvery Nevadan should have an opportunity to see this exhibit remembering these Americans who served and were lost in the cause of freedom. Weâ€™re honored to help bring this exhibit to everyone in the state,â€ says NDVS Director, Kat Miller.
The exhibition, created by WNC-Carson City students, has received national acclaim. In fall 2008, upon seeing The New York Times â€œRoster of the Dead,â€ WNC sociology professor Don Carlson observed that the Iraq War â€œhas been one of the most impersonal wars the U.S. ever fought.â€ 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. â€œAlways Lostâ€ 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 â€œWall of the Deadâ€: 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.
â€œAlways Lost is one of the most personalizing exhibits on war Iâ€™ve ever witnessed,â€ says Miller. â€œTo 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.â€
â€œAlways Lostâ€ will begin its Nevada 150th tour schedule at the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum July 1 through July 31. â€œThe exhibition is scheduled at the Nevada State Museum and the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas this October and November,â€ says Project Manager Amy Roby. â€œWe have several venues scheduled in 2015 and hope to bring the exhibition to as many Nevada communities as possible. Itâ€™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.â€
â€œAlways Lost: A Meditation on Warâ€ is open to the public. For more information, including â€œThe Story of Always Lostâ€ video, visit https://www.wnc.edu/always_lost/. To watch for â€œAlways Lostâ€ and other Nevada 150th events, visit https://www.nevada150.org/