Medal of Honor Memorial Sculptures
by Doyle Glass

The goal of my sculpture is to reflect the beauty of Creation and to honor, enrich and raise the human spirit. It can help guide us toward our own destiny and remind us all of where we have been.

I hope that the monuments that I create focus on something that is part of all of us, yet greater than all of us. They are tools that reflect on something much greater than form, composition or even beauty. Their purpose is to reflect the highest ideals of Creation; ideals described by words such as Duty, Honor, God, Country and Love. If my monuments help the viewer focus on these ideals, ideals granted to us all by our Creator, then my sculpture has fulfilled it’s purpose.

Kentucky Medal of Honor Sculpture

 

Located in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse in downtown Louisville, the Kentucky Medal of Honor Memorial is the first of its kind in the U.S. The bronze was created by local sculptor Doyle Glass.

The memorial features a six-foot bronze cast of Sergeant John C. Squires, a Louisville native who was the first Kentuckian to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II. The statue stands atop a four-foot limestone and granite base, which is inscribed with the names of the Medal of Honor recipients.

The monument depicts John Squires in full battle gear during his first offensive action in Italy. In that campaign, he single-handedly captured 21 German prisoners and collected more than a dozen enemy machine guns for his own men.

Squires was killed in action a month later, just four days after his 19th birthday. He is buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.

The Kentucky Medal of Honor Memorial is the latest in an impressive list of local war memorials, which include the Jefferson County World War II Memorial and Jefferson Memorial Forest. The Kentucky Medal of Honor Memorial is a tribute to all Kentuckians who served their country “above and beyond the call of duty.”

More to note:

  • The Memorial recognizes 56 Kentuckians and persons born outside of the U.S. who entered military service in Kentucky who have received the Medal of Honor for valor in combat.
  • Sculptor Doyle Glass, a Midland, Texas native, was inspired by the motion picture “Saving Private Ryan” in his conceptualization and implementation of the KYMOH Memorial.
  • According to the Courier-Journal, John C. Squires was a private first class in the 30th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division when his heroic action took place on April 23, 1944. He was promoted to sergeant on May 20 but was killed three days later.
  • Sgt. John C. Squires’ Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously in October 1944 and presented to his father, Leroy Y. Squires. The ceremonies were held at Fort Knox. Leroy Y. Squires served 10 months in France in World War I. Read the citation for Sgt. John C. Squires.
  • At the time, Sergeant Squires was the youngest soldier in the Army to receive the Medal of Honor. He was also one of the 243 recipients who died in the service of his country.
  • John Squires’ older brothers, Leroy F. Squires and Steven Squires, were also in the service and both served in Italy during World War II.
  • Learn more about the Medal of Honor.
Doyle Glass Kentucky Medal of Honor Memorial Sculpture
Doyle Glass Kentucky Medal of Honor Memorial

The Texas Medal of Honor Sculpture

No other state in this great union of ours had a beginning quite like that of Texas. Forged in the fire of the Alamo and San Jacinto, Texans were born with courage and daring in their blood. It is the essence of being Texan.

Those individuals who have earned our nation’s highest decoration for combat valor, the Medal of Honor, continue that bold tradition. Texans who have earned the Medal of Honor reflect the history of our state. A Texas recipient of the Medal might have been white, black or hispanic. He might have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. He could have earned his Medal fighting the Comanche on the plains of West Texas, in the rice paddy fields of Vietnam, the volcanic hell that was Iwo Jima or under the waters of the Pacific Ocean. No matter what his background, his branch of service or the conflict in which he fought, valor is the common thread that binds each recipient. He performed above and beyond the call of duty in combat against an enemy of the United States of America and his valor often cost him his life.

Created by Doyle Glass, the Memorial features a larger than life-size figure cast in bronze. The action depicted reflects the character of all seventy Texas recipients of our nation’s highest decoration for combat valor.

The Marine selected to represent all Texas recipients of the Medal is George H. O’Brien, Jr. In 1952, O’Brien was a Marine Second Lieutenant fighting in Korea. As platoon leader, he lead a daring charge that resulted in the re-capture of a vitally important hill position. His Medal of Honor citation reads in part:

“With his platoon subjected to an intense mortar and artillery bombardment while preparing to assault a vitally important hill position on the main line of resistance which had been overrun by a numerically superior enemy force on the preceding night, 2d Lt. O’Brien leaped from his trench when the attack signal was given and, shouting for his men to follow, raced across an exposed saddle and up the enemy-held hill through a virtual hail of deadly small-arms, artillery, and mortar fire. Although shot through the arm and thrown to the ground by hostile automatic-weapons fire as he neared the well-entrenched enemy position, he bravely regained his feet, waved his men onward, and continued to spearhead the assault, pausing only long enough to go to the aid of a wounded marine.”

The Memorial is located at the International Headquarters of the Commemorative Air Force in Midland, Texas, which is the official air force of Texas.  The eight foot bronze figure of O’Brien stands on a base of pink Texas granite. A plaque on the base features the names of every Texan who has earned the Medal. Midland is the home town of George O’Brien and of the Memorial’s sculptor, Doyle Glass.

The Texas Medal of Honor Memorial will serve as a reminder to us all that freedom is not free. It will forever remind us of the sacrifices those seventy Texans made for our nation.

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