TROUTDALE, Ore. – A Troutdale sculptor was selected in a nationwide search to create a larger-than-life sculpture to honor a legendary admiral.
The Naval Order of the United States commissioned the sculpture, honoring Five Star Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific fleet in World War II.
"He was firm in his conviction, but humble and modest also," said sculptor Rip Caswell. “It’s really quite an honor to do this project.”
Of course, Caswell has never met Nimitz, but he feels like he knows him – right down to the tiniest detail.
Caswell's piece stands eight-feet tall and after it gets cast in bronze, it will weigh nearly 1,000 pounds.
“Every bit of the detail will transfer. Even a finger print will cast into the bronze," Caswell said.
Half a million people will pass the Nimitz sculpture every year once it's dedicated in front of the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on September 2nd.
Caswell’s 20-year-old son Chad said it’s been an honor for him to work alongside his dad on the project.
“I’m working on the shoes of Admiral Nimitz,” he said with a grin. “See, there are two different shoelaces down there making a cross."
The monument has already inspired the Caswell family. And soon it will inspire generations of other people, too.
“I have to give credit to my father. He did say to me when I graduated from high school, ‘You'll spend most of your life at work, find something you're passionate about and you love and you'll be a success,’" Rip said.
(KGW reporter Collette Wieland contributed to this report.)