The Highground Mourning Dove Effigy Mound

 © Photographed May 31, 2015
Dedicated 1989
Neillsville, Clark County, Wisconsin

"This effigy mound is a spiritual place where
you can come and let your mother, the earth, hold
you. Let the children play on it, dance on it, use
it to unload your grief and pain. Let it renew and
strengthen you. Lay back on the soft fold of it's [sic]
wings and let Mother Earth unburden you.
Then get up and leave your troubles and cares on
the mound, as you walk away renewed and refreshed." 
1949 - 1993

The Highground Mourning Dove Effigy Mound is located at The Highground, located at 7301 Ridge Road, Neillsville, Wisconsin 54456.

On October 1, 2017, I received this comment from David Giffey, who designed the Mourning Dove Effigy Mount. I am privileged, honored and humbled to share his comments here:
Brief History of the Dove Mound at The Highground Veterans Memorial Park
By David Giffey
Vietnam Veteran, Artist, Dove Mound designer
I’m a U.S. Army veteran of the war in Vietnam, a lifelong artist, and a Wisconsin native. In 1985, after visiting the future site of the Highground, I designed the Mourning Dove Effigy Mound for the park founded by the Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Memorial Project. Howard Sherpe (1944-2016), Vietnam War veteran, was chair of the project design committee and one of Highground founders and board members.
As a visual artist, most of my work involved painting murals. I didn’t have a clear idea as I drove to the park site in 1985 after reading about a design competition inviting veteran artists to propose elements for the future park. As I drove onto the field, which would be developed as the Highground, a mourning dove flew past my windshield. The bird, and the thousands of Native American effigy built centuries ago in Wisconsin, were my inspirations.
I made several drawings and decisions about size, shape, and exact location. Howard Sherpe promoted the dove mound idea with the Highground board, and we built it with shovels, wheelbarrows, and 100 volunteers in the Spring of 1989. The dove mound is 130 feet wide, 100 feet in length, and 6 feet at its highest point. The mound contains soil from all 72 Wisconsin counties and many nations including Vietnam. 
John Beaudin, of the Chippewa Tribe, spoke at the dedication ceremony. He said of the earth mound: “It is a spiritual place…let Mother Earth unburden you…walk away renewed and refreshed.” John Beaudin died of cancer three years later. His ashes were ceremonially scattered on the mound.
The dove mound was dedicated to the memory of prisoners of war and those missing in action. As Howard Sherpe wrote after the dedication ceremony, “What began as a memorial for POW-MIAs, has taken on much greater scope and significance than its original purpose. It is as if it has developed a life of its own and has now become a symbol of the peace we all seek.”
Here is his bio on his website: David Giffey Life With Art

 The memorial is located at The Highground Veterans Memorial Park.

The Highground is located in Neillsville, Wisconsin.

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