Veterans Reflection Circle honors the service of US Army Sergeant First Class Brian Mancini, who was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. After he returned to his Surprise, Arizona hometown, Brian founded the nonprofit Honor House to help service men and women to make the transition back to civilian life. The memorial includes three distinct areas that tell Brian’s story. The center of the memorial represents the internal impact of Brian’s service. It features tough desert plants that surround and protect “Brian’s Bench,” a water feature that overlooks the entire memorial. An outer circle represents the community and how it surrounded Brian with support. Benches in this area allow people to pause for reflection. The “Last Walk” represents the journey only Brian could take. It connects the inner circle to the outer reaches of the reflection space and a community lake where Brian fished as a way to find healing.
Throughout the memorial, protective concrete barriers known as Bremer walls echo the Iraqi landscape Brian experienced. The Bremer walls also provide space to display a mural about his journey, a dedication plaque, and a poem Brian wrote.
This memorial was realized as a private-public partnership. It is located on land donated by the City of Surprise. Logan Simpson collaborated with WERK Urban Design to organize nearly 40 consultants and contractors, who donated nearly $385,000 to make the memorial a reality.