A multimedia slideshow produced by the Chicago Tribune and Pete Souza in association with the article “A ‘Wake’ for the Dead in Iraq,” Chicago Tribune, Sunday, May 28 2006.

Phyllis Stigliano Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Memorial Day Installation, 2006

Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Lobby Gallery
October 3, 2006 – November 26, 2006

A memorial to the US soldiers and Iraqis who have died in Iraq. First installed at Phyllis Stigliano Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and then remounted in the Brooklyn Public Library’s lobby gallery.




This memorial began as a way to grasp the reports of the conflict in Iraq—I wanted to try and understand what the casualties I heard about meant in more human terms, to read about and see the individual men and women who had lost their lives. My hope in creating the piece is to show the cumulative effect of so many lives lost, yet still reflect their individuality. I think it is important to see the faces of the dead so they can be respected and remembered.

As the installation developed, I realized I wanted to show the Iraqis as well as the US soldiers, to present a more complete picture. I struggled with the best way to do this, since I could find so little information about them. Using blank sheets of paper seemed better than not representing them at all; the blankness also seemed poignantly expressive of their anonymity here.

Wake installation at Phyllis Stigliano Gallery, photo by Pete Souza