Today’s Google Doodle, painted by Massachusetts-based veteran and visitor artist Pete Damon, celebrates Veterans Day in the United States. One of the nation’s 10 federal holidays, this day explicitly praises individuals from the country’s military. Monday is Veterans Day in the United States, the day when Americans interruption to honor and offer gratitude to the individuals who have served in the US military.
Google traditionally turns the focal point of its Doodle every Nov. 11 to respect the contributions of those valiant people, a considerable lot of whom endured life-changing wounds – both physical and emotional. Pete Damon, the artist who made the current year’s Google Doodle, is an Army veteran seriously harmed in the service of his nation who carries the reminder of that sacrifice with him every day.
Pete Damon lost parts of both his arms in 2003 while serving as a helicopter mechanic during the Iraq War. For Damon, art was a form of treatment that transformed into a career.
Below, Pete shares his story and thinking behind the Google Doodle:
“As a severely injured Iraq War veteran, the celebration of all those who serve is of paramount importance to me. In 2003, I lost parts of both arms while serving in-theater as a helicopter mechanic. I would not be alive today were it not for my fellow service members who sprang into action to save my life.
“I’ve witnessed children taking part in similar displays of patriotism on Veterans Day when large fields, usually in public spaces, are filled with a sea of little flags. I thought it would make for the perfect painting subject. I asked permission from a friend and fellow veteran, Hillary Moll, who captured these scenes in photographs to use some of them as a reference.
“Those photographs provided me with the perfect inspiration for this Doodle. When I was approached about the project, I was extremely honored and more than a little apprehensive. I was not sure I was up to the task but was willing to give it my best.
“I named this piece “Paying Tribute,” showing two children, one wearing camouflage and the other with a sailor’s cap and navy blue shirt, setting up a Veterans Day flag display. It is meant to honor all of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.”
While Pete Damon was honored to be asked to be part of the project, he confesses to being somewhat anxious about whether he was capable. In any case, he was determined to give it his best in light of his personal connection to the subject.
“With this piece, I hope people will realize and appreciate the personal sacrifice that all who serve in the military endure securing the liberty of all Americans,” he said. “I particularly hope that people will recognize the importance of teaching children to honor their service.”
Artist Pete Damon hopes his work of art passes on the significance of honoring the individuals who have served in the US military.