PROVIDENCE, RI–DMS Design announced that Sid Silveira was awarded the RI Day of Portugal Veteran’s Memorial design commission.
The mission of the memorial is to honor the fallen men and women of Rhode Island’s Portuguese Community and the competition was open to Portuguese and Luso-American architectural designers.
As a first generation Portuguese American, and someone who has relatives and friends that served in the United States Armed Forces, it was Sid’s great honor to develop the design for this Veterans’ Memorial. “I was very surprised to learn that the service men and women of Portuguese descent did not yet have an appropriate monument to honor their dedication and commitment to the American people,” notes Sid Silveira, Senior Project Associate at DMS.
Design of the 6’ high x 6’ wide granite memorial was inspired by the Order of Christ Cross, a significant Portuguese symbol since the 1300s. The cross also serves as a symbol for the Portuguese military and is a traditional symbol used to recognize noteworthy services by soldiers and civilians. The cross itself is a simple, geometric shape with clean lines and a powerful presence.
The top of the cross is at a 23.5-degree angle, representing the correct position that the armillary sphere atop should be oriented. “I chose to emphasize the Portuguese Armillary as it represents Portugal’s significant accomplishments and contributions related to maritime navigation, exploration, and role in connecting the world,” says Silveira.
The base of the monument, constructed with complementary colored stone matching that of the smaller cross, is a twelve-sided, granite dodecagon. Nine of the faces of the base have a copper star to symbolize the islands of the Azores and a tenth face contains a copper Order of Christ Cross representing the island of Madeira.
The two side faces of the cross’s arms will prominently display 3 military seals for each of the six branches of the United States Armed Forces constructed in bas-relief from copper. The facade of the front arm will provide the appropriate location for the epitaph paying tribute to those that have honorably served our country.
The memorial will be located at the Rhode Island Veteran’s Cemetery in Exeter and the unveiling is scheduled for Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2022.
DMS Design, LLC is a full-service architecture and interiors firm that specializes in multi-family housing, commercial, senior living, and affordable housing.
The first Day of Portugal in Rhode Island was proclaimed in 1958 by RI Governor Dennis J. Roberts in testimony of the importance of Portugal and its discoveries. The proclamation states that on the occasion of the anchoring of two Portuguese frigates, the Nuno Tristão and the Diogo Gomes in the port of Providence,” Governor Dennis J. Roberts proclaimed the 14th day of June of 1958 as the First Day of Portugal.” Their arrival was one of many in a series of events in celebration of the Day of Portugal that year proposed by then Rep. Augusto W. São Bento, member of the organizing organization. Its mission is to celebrate the holiday, Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas (Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities), in the State of Rhode Island, to preserve the traditions of the Portuguese culture for future generations, and to promote the contribution of the Portuguese people, language, and culture to the rich fabric of the State of Rhode Island.