Washoe County hosts “Always Lost: A Meditation on War” exhibit
Opening ceremony for exhibit honoring veterans is Monday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m.

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nevada. Nov. 25, 2015. Washoe County invites you to the opening ceremony of the Western Nevada College (WNC) nationally touring exhibition, “Always Lost: A Meditation on War,” at the Washoe County Administration Complex, Building B, on Monday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m. 

The war memorial will be available for public viewing weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., until Jan. 15, 2016.

The heart of this unique war memorial is the Wall of the Dead, featuring faces and names of U.S. military service members who perished in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since Sept. 11, 2001. Along with the exhibition’s poignant memorial wall, “Always Lost,” brings home the individual and collective costs of war through original poetry by Nevada writers.

The exhibit also includes the 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning Iraq War combat photograph collection, courtesy of The Dallas Morning News. The exhibit includes photographic portraits and interviews of WNC student veterans who represent the thousands of service members returning home from the wars. Observations about the nature of war from ancient philosophers to modern-day generals provoke reflection about our obligations to those who serve in harm’s way on our behalf.

“Washoe County is honored to host such a unique exhibit that depicts the tragic realities of war all while honoring our veterans,” Washoe County Commission Chair Marsha Berkbigler said. “We hope everyone gets a chance to come out and pay their respects to those who gave so much to fight for our freedom.”

What: Opening ceremony of the "Always Lost: A Meditation on War" exhibit

When: Monday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m.

Where: Washoe County Administration Complex in Building B.

Media: Select speakers will be on hand to discuss the exhibit and will be made available for individual interviews afterward by request.

Viewing hours: M-F, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Jan. 15, 2016.

Cost: Free

Background info: The war memorial began as a class project at Western Nevada College. After viewing the New York Times’ Roster of the Dead in 2008, sociology professor Don Carlson observed that the Iraq War was perhaps the most impersonal war the U.S. has ever fought. He and English professor Marilee Swirczek envisioned a literary and visual arts exhibition to bring home the costs of war. Students in Swirczek’s creative writing classes and volunteers scoured Department of Defense casualty lists to create the Wall of the Dead. Retired Marine Major Kevin Burns, a student in the class and currently WNC’s Veterans Resource Center coordinator, titled the exhibition after an observation by American writer Gertrude Stein: “War is never fatal but always lost. Always Lost.”

Video: See a clip about the war exhibit.

More information: Go to


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