The Spirit of America’s Story, The Wall
Traveling Exhibit Commemorates Ongoing Fight for Freedom
Team drivers for V-3 Transportation, Ron Smith and Patricia Sexton of Sandusky, OH have a deep passion and understanding of the military and the pride that goes with it. They collaborated to bring The Spirit of America’s Story – The Wall to life. It is a richly illustrated visual story of America’s struggles for freedom, a visual walk through our country’s history and our fight to be free, from 1775 forward.
President and co-founder Ron Smith is a 13-½ year Marine Corps veteran. Co-founder Patricia Sexton is the wife of Army Sgt. David Sexton, who lost his life while serving in Vietnam during 1971. His remains have yet to come home. The passion they share for all branches of the military and the members of military families becomes quickly evident in just a short conversation.
Their connections to this project are much more than personal. From dream to reality, they have invested countless hours and personal resources over five years to bring this project to life. The Wall project has become an ongoing visual diary of our nation’s fight for freedom that’s still being written. The passion they share for this project is seen in their presentations, each and every time The Wall is displayed. Their dream has evolved into a part of everyone’s life that has seen it.
The Wall, when fully completed, will be comprised of 10 pieces of artwork that Smith and Sexton designed in 10-ft. x 92-in. panels. They fit into custom-made frames that create the 100-ft. long panoramic mural, when connected. The custom built panels and structure are completely mobile and can accommodate any size space, indoors or outdoors.
To date, 70 feet of The Wall from 1775 to the Persian Gulf War are completed and currently being shown. The three remaining panels from 9-11 to the current war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan have been designed, but are not yet painted. The Wall is targeted for completion by May 2017, if fund raising proceeds as planned. The Wall is the first of its kind and stands as a powerful, visual reminder of this country’s sacrifices in the pursuit of freedom. Smith and Sexton want to ensure that their legacy will continue to inspire and educate future generations.
The mural enables viewers to experience history through a visual time line that reflects America’s story and documents the many technological advancements, as well as the great sacrifices in the ongoing quest for peace. The blended images and dramatic transitions reveal the struggles and challenges the military, police and fire fighters of this country have faced for the protection of the rights and freedoms every citizen enjoys. To call it just a mural would be like calling the Grand Canyon just a hole in the ground.
Nationally known artist Raymond A. Simonis shared in the passion as his paintings presented the essence of this powerful message. He is known for his ability to capture moments in time, blending them together, and painting the stories of life. The NFL, NHL, The Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Department of Defense and many others have commissioned his works.
The Creators’ Words
“Our goal is to capture and preserve the spirit, the sacrifices and rich history of the American people,” said Smith. “We do this by honoring those men and women in uniformed service who have and are currently serving and protecting our way of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, both here and abroad. We’ve shared the message of this unique display with many audiences across Ohio and beyond.”
“We are solely a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the immeasurable sacrifices individuals have made in the name of freedom,” continued Sexton. “Unlike other memorials, The Wall teaches through a pictorial timeline, covering the past 230 years. We accompany The Wall wherever it is displayed in an effort to inform and educate young and old alike.”
Any Assistance Appreciated
The estimated cost of the finished Wall project is $98,000. From April 2015 to present, corporate and public contributions totaling $40,000 have been raised. Smith and Sexton are so passionate about this traveling tribute Wall that they have personally invested $40,000. If they are unable to raise the remaining $18,000 through contributions, they will continue to travel and raise funds for The Wall. You can learn more about The Spirit of America’s Story – The Wall at SpiritofAmericasStory.com and by viewing additional linked photos for this story in the January-February 2017 digital version of RoadKing posted for your easy viewing at RoadKing.com.