Why We Built a WWII Statue

By | December 24, 2023

[December 24, 2023]  Four years ago, a small group of men – all acquaintances – were discussing “doing something” for their community.  One of these men knew and befriended a World War II veteran and his devoted daughter.   The veteran was a highly decorated Army medic.  After the veteran passed away, his daughter suggested to the group that we build a WWII statue.

Naturally, the question was why would we want to build this statue, other than the obvious, to “honor our veterans.”  Building a statue is no easy task; it takes thousands of hours of fundraising, speaking engagements, designing the statue, finding an artist willing to commit to our vision, and getting a final engineering design and construction.  Plus, there are city obstacles to overcome: getting permission to use city land, construction permitting, legal issues, and other classic bureaucracy.

Were we naïve?  Yep.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered.  And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute.  History has stopped.  Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” – George Orwell, 1984

But, as time dragged on and the fundraising, design, and obstacles continued, we began to question our own motives for the statue.  Naturally, we asked ourselves, what are we trying to do?  Why do we want to build a statue?  Everyone involved in building a statue has fought these issues and asked themselves the same things at some point.

The statue effort forced us to look deeper into why we might consider working so hard to bring about a statue embodying a WWII veteran.  The answer is that a statue would become a moral judgment of ourselves.  When complete, anyone who sees this statue will instantly understand that they are comparing themselves to those who fought in this war.  And that is scary, as any moral judgment would.

Our statue, like any statue, is a judge of us.  The statue says to anyone who sees it, “You will be judged by what I am.” And those who are ambivalent to that judgment, uncommitted, and don’t care about what it represents will be judged the harshest.  And that is Hell if you fail that judgment.

At this point, we continue to move forward with our WWII statue.  Sometime in the next few months, we will have an unveiling for the public.  Of course, there will be great fanfare.  The local band will play patriotic songs, the city mayor will speak of incredible heroics of the war, politicians will be out in droves, and veterans will stand and admire this symbol of sacrifice.

More importantly, we will all stand in judgment.  Are we worthy?  We will be proud to “honor our veterans.”  And we will also be afraid that we will be judged harshly.  Are we ready for that judgment?  The answer is “no.”  And that won’t be easy to accept.  How we come to grips with that moral judgment makes us a person of good character, or not?

NOTE 1:  My good friend Joe Griffies asked me to write a book on why we build statues.  That is a grand mission, so I’ll take a fast swing at it in the short term with this article.  Your thoughts are welcome.

NOTE 2: I use the term “statues,” which may be misleading.  “Memorial” might be a better term because it includes the statue and the surrounding parts that complement the statue.  I’m using statues for now, but I might change it for a future article.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “Why We Built a WWII Statue

  1. Eddie Gilliam

    Great job my friend. A memorial bring honor to the person svc and sacrifice. We raise money and allow land to be used for silly things. Why not try harder city and government officials to honor our heroes.

  2. Hammer Head

    Well, Well, now we have an idea that is novel at its core. Statues help us judge our own moral character. Wow, now I’ve never heard of this before. I will suggest, carrying this logic further, that those who tear down statues have been judged harshly and have failed that judgment. They cannot stand that they fail the very test of human endeavors and are lashing out. The fact that people like Joe Biden supports them, only reinforces the idea that Joe Biden has zero ability to run the United States.

    1. Liz at Home

      Hammer Head, well said. That should be an upcoming article in this website. Gen. Satterfield should be all over it.

  3. Pen Q

    How we come to grips with this moral judgment says a lot about our personal character. I agree.

  4. Fred Weber

    “The statue effort forced us to look deeper into why we might consider working so hard to bring about a statue embodying a WWII veteran. The answer is that a statue would become a moral judgment of ourselves. When complete, anyone who sees this statue will instantly understand that they are comparing themselves to those who fought in this war. And that is scary, as any moral judgment would.” —- Gen. Doug Satterfield. I hope this idea gets developed. I’d like to read more on it. Thanks.

    1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

      Great point and I agree that more needs to be said about this.

  5. Laughing Monkey

    Nothing like another nice article that requires THINKING to get thru. Gen. S. is all over this topic. Let me suggest that it gets developed. If Gen. Satterfield could write a book that tells the story of statues and the spate of hooligans tearing down statues, he would be doing us all a big favor. Now that is something everyone would like to read. Make it easy reading for the ‘common man’ and he has a real winner.

      1. American Girl

        Thank you, sir, making comments occassionally helps us better understand where you are coming from.

  6. Yusaf from Texas

    Great article, thank you Gen. Satterfield for the beginning of an explanation of why we build statues but also why, when we look at them, we are judged for our morality. Interesting idea. Well done!!!

  7. Autistic Techie

    Go Go Go …. more statues of great men. Guard the statues and crush those who would destroy our culture.

    1. Bryan Z. Lee

      Yep, more on this topic is okay with me. Maybe Gen. Satterfield’s friend Joe Griffies can get him to write that book.


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