The Reflection Terrace

Sara Mozersky

The Reflection Terrace, located in the Gude Garden at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland, is a memorial dedicated to the victims of the 2002 sniper attacks that plagued the Washington, D.C. area. The memorial consists of three large stones with three separate inscriptions, near a pond.  One of the stones is engraved with the names of the 10 victims who died due to the attacks.  While the memorial is meant as a dedication to the victims of the attacks, it is also meant as a broader memorial to victims of violence in general.  This dedication, and the way in which it was completed, surprised me.  First of all, the dedication not only to the snipers’ victims, but to victims of crime in general surprised me, because it seems as though, in general, when people set out to memorialize a tragedy, they focus on that specific tragedy, and only that tragedy.  They do not try to include every victim of other crimes, especially those victims that slip through the cracks.  In a way, this memorial seems to try to rectify that, which I appreciate.  Even though it is a memorial mainly to the victims of the sniper attacks, it at least addresses that there are other crime victims, and it implores people to not forget about them.  The other thing that surprised me about the memorial is its similarity to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  In my research, I learned that the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is somewhat therapeutic, which was interesting, and might partially explain the design for the Reflection Terrace.

About urba0090

is an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in the American Studies and History departments at Rutgers University.
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