At KLIK USA, we are proud of what we do, which is to help our clients achieve their design goals with creative lighting solutions. All of our projects and clients inspire us, but there are some projects that truly stand out. As a military family, it has been our honor to be a part of the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum, which opened last fall in Columbus, Ohio.
This extraordinary space is the first of its kind, built not just to honor the men and women who served in all branches of the U.S. military, but also tell their stories. As Leslie H. Wexner, the Ohio business leader and philanthropist who championed this project from conception to completion told Architectural Digest Magazine, “Rather early on in the process, we decided this museum wasn’t going to be about guns or tanks or the machines of war, but rather about the American veteran.” Throughout our country’s history, the American veteran’s story is a similar one, explained Wexner. “From the Revolutionary War through today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—soldiers have been expressing the same emotions in their letters. It’s all so dramatic, heartbreaking, and, at times, beautiful.”
Dramatic and beautiful are also how one could describe the museum building, situated on the bank of the Scioto River near downtown Columbus. It is a monument itself, designed by Allied Works Architecture. As principal architect Brad Cloepfil stated, “Part of the idea of representing U.S. veterans is by making something beautiful for them to be proud of and look at in awe, and be eager to show to their families and loved ones. It’s a place of memory.”
We encourage all families–those with and without ties to military service–to visit the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. Nick Mafi, in his study on the NVMM for Architectural Digest, summed up the experience very elegantly: “If we allow ourselves to learn from those who came before us—be it through literature, or art, or museums—then we can see our lives reflected in previous ones, and a sense of harmony is possible. Indeed, when we know that we’re members of a larger narrative, that we too will be remembered by our actions, then our present and future find shape and purpose.”
Photography by Lauren K. Davis, Feinknopf Studio