Credit: Library of Congress/Jet Lowe
Two sculptures by Leo Friedlander, “Sacrifice” and “Valor,” stand atop pedestals on the Washington, D.C. end of Memorial Bridge. They symbolize the defensive strength of the nation. Two nearby sculptures, “Music and Harvest” and “Aspiration and Literature,” represent the Arts of Peace. They symbolize the nourishment of the people of the country through its culture and the richness of the land.
The sculptures were originally designed to be granite, but in 1938 they were cast in bronze instead. rather than sculpt them in granite. World War II intervened and a shortage of bronze meant that the statues could not be cast until after the war. All four statues were cast and gilded at foundries in four Italian cities as a gift to the people of the United States. In 1951, they floated up the Potomac River on barges and were lifted onto their pedestals.
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