Here is a little story about me, why I am inspired to create the One Memorial. If you know of an architect who would help me design the One Memorial please send them my way. Thank you!
In June 1980 I was born in the hospital both of my parents were born in as well. My parents named me Jessica, a very unusual name in Communist Berlin and therefor I was the first girl named Jessica in that hospital. Times were very rough under the communist regime. I remember going to the basement to collect coal, so we could heat our only oven that didn't give off enough heat to warm the old brick apartment that survived WWII. Thankfully the wall fell and now I am living in beautiful Austin, Texas. Trust me, the warm climate is one big reason why I love living here. Once you suffer through German winters without being able to warm up your home, cold weather is the last thing you like to be around.
When I was 19 years old I found myself in love with a US Army soldier, so I packed my few belongings and left Berlin to be with him. We were in love and for a few weeks it was all butterflies and sunshine but then I turned on the TV and there I was sitting alone in my 1970-style-dark-one-bedroom apartment, watching the unthinkable. The twin towers were on fire and the whole world fell into chaos. From that moment on I was surrounded by soldiers patrolling our apartment, security was at it's highest level and we all knew that nothing will ever be the same.
Years go by with my then husband gone to training and wars more than spending time at home. Our first Iraq deployment was 15 months long and every minute of every day you were worried that the father of your 3 year old daughter won't come back alive. Many of the soldiers didn't make it home. Sitting at Memorial Services with the grieving wives was one of the hardest things I ever had to experience. Fortunately her daddy made it home okay and even the second tour to Iraq left him physically unharmed but mentally destroyed.
We are the statistics and our marriage didn't survive. We divorced in 2010 and since then I have been living in Austin, Texas. Life as a single mom in America is very rough, especially if you have no friends or family to lean on. Working as a waitress and going to school have shaped me into a successful web designer. All the hard times, starting in East Berlin to going through the Iraq deployments have made me unbelievably strong and independent. But it has also made me very compassionate. When you see so much suffering and pain and know how it feels, all you want to do is make the world a better place. That has now been my new goal, my new dream to work towards.
While in school at the Austin Creative Department I came up with a solution for our divided humanity. Actually it is more of a symbol of unity and equality under all humankind. The One Memorial is a concept to create a communal memorial/urn where people can opt in to have their ashes stored with people from all walks of life. I am currently looking for an architect who would work with me to design the One Memorial. Once I found him/her I will be one step closer on achieving my dream of making the world a better place.
Anyone has the power and ability to create positive change. Let's all remember that and work together hand in hand for a better tomorrow for all of us. Love and Peace! #theonememorial