Rays of Remembrance features 18 steel I-beams symbolizing 18 construction trades represented in this memorial to Kansas City Workers. The I-beams are configured in an elegant, radiant form gesturing towards the sky above, evoking rays of sunlight breaking through the clouds at sunrise, representing hope and renewal. The steel rays are elevated by a monumental plinth created from stainless steel. Approaching the base of the sculpture, guests encounter laser-etched emblems of each of the trade unions represented in the memorial.
The artists, were inspired to find poetry and powerful meaning in everyday objects. Steel I-beams have always been palpable icons of modern city infrastructure, and in this sculptural context, they are simultaneously both medium and symbolic element. Likewise, the sculpture takes union emblems out of their everyday context, and lifts them up as icons that carry each union’s enduring values and legacies of struggle. Our viewers are invited to reflect anew on each emblem, each with historical and artistic significance, each representing a story, a trade, and a person.
Highly visible from a distance anywhere in Waterworks Park and nearby roadways, the memorial invites visitors towards it as a timeless sculptural beacon at both day and night. The up lit form resembles an eternal flame honoring fallen workers.
The plinth’s south face presents a laser etched poem that pays tributes and honors the fallen workers who built Kansas City. On the plinth’s north face is laser etched text, providing a brief interpretive history of the working men and women who built Kansas City into one of the nation’s great American cities. This text is strategically placed on the north side of the plinth, so that our guests look out upon Kansas City’s dramatic skyline as they encounter this powerful story. Below the interpretive text, visitors encounter the emblems representing each of the trade unions.
Page Last Updated: May 04, 2021 (11:22:00)