Chris Kyle is remembered through a movie, a book, medals and public recognitions, but his widow said the 15-foot statue memorializing her late husband unveiled Thursday in Odessa stands out.
“I think the difference with this one is it is going to be around forever and it’s going to be a place where people are going to be able to sit and reflect,” Taya Kyle said.
Taya Kyle said she’s often emotional when she thinks about how her late husband would have reacted to the statue — “All this, for me?” — noting that he was humble and would have wanted the focus to be on all veterans.
But she also said she thinks about people who will visit the statue, and that she hopes they get out of their visit what they want or need.
“I feel like there’s something divine at work in every individual (here),” Taya Kyle said. “…I feel like them coming out today says a lot about their patriotic spirit, too.”
Kelly Cook, the landscape architect with KDC Associates, which designed the plaza, went down a list of symbolisms, from the words etched in the black granite to the Navy trident.
“I had (sculptor) Vic (Payne) rotate it so that Chris’ eyes faced the VA center,” Cook said. “He never forgot them.”
Kyle was known before his death for helping veterans adjust to life post military, which ultimately led to his death Feb. 2, 2013, when one of those veterans shot him and friend Chad Littlefield. Eddie Ray Routh was later convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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Image courtesy of Jacob Ford|Odessa American