Memorial honoring World War II veterans to be unveiled in Grosse Pointe Farms

A first-of-its-kind sculpture recently erected in Grosse Pointe Farms was inspired by another installation built decades ago in France. 

But while they stand thousands of miles apart, both pay homage to the same thing: the veterans who fought to defend the world from tyranny. Les Braves on Omaha Beach in France was inaugurated on June 5, 2004.

Les Braves II: At Water's Edge, which was designed by the same artist, was recently completed along Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms. It'll be unveiled ahead of Memorial Day weekend this year.

"Our former CEO Charles Burk is responsible for the vision of this. He and his family traveled to France and they were on Normandy beach and were very moved by the sculpture - just everything," said Maria Miller, interim president and CEO of War Memorial.

Les Braves II: At Water's Edge stands 25 feet tall and 50 feet wide. 

Built off of Lake Shore Drive, the sculpture was built with the same three thematic elements that made the original so iconic: The wings of hope, Rise and Freedom, and the Wings of Fraternity.

"Think about those who lost their lives, who've dedicated so much for us. I don't know if we do it often enough," Miller said. "You see servicemen and say ‘thank you for your sacrifice,’ 'thank you for what you've done.' A lot of us will say things like that but to really understand that ultimate sacrifice that we can have this interview here that we can be free to do what we want to do."

The new art installation will be dedicated during a ceremony on May 25 at 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public and will feature words from the sculpture artist.

Pre-registration is required. Learn more here