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VA hand sculpture will return after wind damage repair

VA hand sculpture will return after wind damage repair


It will be back.

The Serving Hands sculpture that had been sited at the Veterans Administration campus on South 70th Street is being repaired after it was damaged in a November windstorm.

This will mark the second time that "The Cost of Freedom" hands have been secured as a tribute to the sacrifice of America's military veterans. 

The Lincoln East Rotary Foundation collaborated with veterans and other partners to purchase the sculpture for $16,000; it was one of 51 sculptures in Lincoln's recent Serving Hands public art project.

The sculpture was damaged when it was blown off its outdoor base the day after Thanksgiving.

"There's a lot of love and feeling for that sculpture," said Liz Shea-McCoy, director of the Serving Hands public art project. "It's very fixable. And it is coming back."

Workers in the maintenance department at the VA are repairing the damage, and Tammy Miller, the artist who created it, will "touch up" the sculpture after that, Shea-McCoy said.  

Veterans and other concerned citizens "can rest assured that it will soon be coming back in great shape," Duane Tappe of Waverly said.

"The last time when it was moved downtown for the auction, there were many concerned citizens and veterans wondering what happened to their beloved sculpture," Tappe said.  

Tappe is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

The sculpture is "very symbolic of patriotism," Shea-McCoy said, and it pays tribute to "the sacrifices made to keep our freedom."

An unusually large wind gust combined with the large surface of the sculpture last month to "turn it into a big kite in a way," she said.  It will be much more safely secured when it's returned to its outdoor site, Shea-McCoy said.

Then, the sculpture will become a permanent fixture ready to welcome the new $23.9 million VA outpatient clinic scheduled to open in the fall of 2020. 

Serving Hands sculptures

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSdon


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