I can’t tell you how many times I have walked by this sculpture. In fact, I did not even know the name of the Monument until the writing of this post. And in all honesty I never really cared to know.
The Lost Sculpture
Why — well the sculpture sits at Columbus Circle. And this part of Manhattan is rather busy. I know what your thinking “what part of Manhattan is not busy?!” And while that might be true, there are certain neighborhoods that are busier than others.
And Columbus Circle is one of those neighborhoods. The U.S.S. Maine National Monument is surrounded by:
Now while Times Square is not in Columbus Circle — it is only a few blocks away.
So as you can now imagine — the Monument seems to just get lost in all that noise. But I have to say that during the summer months the U.S.S. Main sculpture seems to get attention. You will see people eating lunch at the base of the National Monument. You will see folks waiting for friends. And still you will see others just sitting, enjoying the summers day.
The U.S.S Maine National Monument was dedicated on May 30, 1913. And sits at the Central Park entrance known as the Merchants Gate. And yes the sculpture is in dedication to the U.S.S Maine.
It’s a dedication for the 266 sailors who died on the U.S.S. Maine. The US’ 2nd commissioned battleship. It sunk after an unexplained explosion at the Havana Harbor in 1898; while protecting US interests.
The speculation at the time was that the sinking of the Maine was deliberate. Why — to pull the US into war with Spain. And it worked.
The Names And The Message
I have never noticed but the names of the 266 sailors is inscribed in the pedestal. And during my research I began to build an emotional connection with the Maine and her crew. For the loss of so many lives.
It might just be me but I don’t think that message is conveyed effectively. So in this photo I tried to capture that emotion. Of the loss of the U.S.S. Main. Of the loss of her crew. Of the families that were there left behind.
I found it necessary not to fill the frame with the sculpture. But to capture the sky. I think this morning sky dramatically increases the emotional value of the U.S.S. Maine.
Question: When you look upon the U.S.S Maine National Monument what emotions does it evoke?