Students, families, active duty military and veterans nationwide show
appreciation for the military in a mosaic mural on display at the Pentagon.

Operation Grateful Nation is a national program that is part of a partnership between Ford Motor Company Fund and Project S.N.A.P. designed to give participants the opportunity to thank members of the military for their service and commitment.

This program culminated in the creation of a giant 4’x8′ mosaic mural currently on display at the Pentagon.  The mosaic mural was created from nearly 5,000 artworks contributed by high school students, active duty military, military families and veterans. Participants created artworks and wrote artist’s statements reflecting on the importance of expressing gratitude for the service and sacrifice that members of the military and their families give for their country.  A copy of each artwork created was also mailed to active duty military serving overseas as part of their holiday packages.

The theme of the mosaic mural image draws on the themes expressed through the lyrics of the song “This Land is Your Land”.  It depicts a scene of returning home with imagery from California and the Redwood Forests to New York and the Statue of Liberty, down to the Gulf Stream waters. The skyline represents the many cities across the country where artworks were collected.  Walking hand-in-hand along a ribbon of highway, under an endless skyway, are a soldier in uniform and a child waving an American flag.  Together they travel past the mountains, valleys, plains and diamond deserts, finding their way back home.

I feel that this is where America really should be... a bunch of little brush strokes coming together to create this beautiful message and just knowing that I'm a part of something like that makes me feel very proud.

Participants can access the mosaic mural online in the Project S.N.A.P. Online Art Museum, read and share their artist’s statement and see how their artwork fits into the “big picture”.

Reproductions of the original mosaic mural are on display in each of the participating cities.  Participating schools also have the opportunity to display the mosaic mural and give all the students a chance to learn more about this initiative and appreciate the collaborative process.