Terra Nova – A “Monument to the Fallen” at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery

by Donn Weaver, Council Chairman

Terra Nova, this month’s cover art, is one of 21 oil paintings created by Jeanne Harris Weaver in 2011 after her son, 1LT Todd Weaver, was killed in combat on September, 9, 2010, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  Terra Nova was the name given to the Forward Operating Base, close to the pomegranate orchid where Todd fell,  by his unit, the 502nd Strike Brigade of the 101st Airborne/Air Assault Division.

She was inspired to create the 24 X 36 inch oil painting after reading the words of Todd’s Company Commander,  Army Captain Drew Shaffer, 

“It was a terrible shock to the battery to lose Todd. He had done so much in such a short period. TG6 (LTC David Flynn) and the Chaplain came out that morning. In the discussion as down-trodden as the mood was, one connecting piece came through. Todd would not have quit. He would not have settled. He would continue to conduct operations to destroy the enemy, protect the people and keep our soldiers safe. He had already imparted the ‘intestinal fortitude to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor’ Todd was a Ranger and he truly led the way.”

 A reproduction of the painting hangs in the Division Headquarters of the 101st at Ft. Campbell, KY. 

Nearly eleven years since Weaver was killed, the complete set of paintings, Losing Todd: A Mother’s Journey,  will be displayed in the week before Memorial Day and during the Memorial Day weekend  at the Melbourne City Hall (900 East Strawbridge Ave.) in remembrance of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  The series of paintings have been exhibited at many venues in the past eleven years in Washington DC, Virginia and Florida.  One  painting will also be displayed at the Stone Cemetery in Melbourne during the 9 AM May 31, 2021 Melbourne Memorial Day Ceremony. J.S Stone Memorial Cemetery is located at 2621 Grant Street in Melbourne. Todd’s father, former US Army Captain Donn Weaver, who is Chairman of the Brevard Veterans Council, will be the Gold Star Father Key Note Speaker. 

In January of 2020 before the COVID pandemic, Donn and Jeanne Weaver decided to spearhead a project at the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Scottsmoor (CCNC). The cemetery features a secluded memorial path which, after only five years since CCNC opened,  has four existing monuments for selected recognition of Veterans and their sacrifice. Although Todd is buried at Arlington, Donn and Jeanne decided to lead an effort with the National Cemetery Association at the VA and the local community to create a monument that would recognize all our fallen in all eras for all time at the CCNC.

It took over one year to receive full approval from the VA/NCA and fund raising began in January 2021. At this time, they are not sure when the new monument will be dedicated since ceremonies remain limited at the CCNC, but Memorial Day 2021 is the goal. 

The monument will be made of black granite with gold stars on the sides and Terra Nova in bronze bas relief on the slanted top. The Gold Stars symbolize those parents, spouses, children and other family members who survive the Fallen. 

Individuals and organizations are encouraged to contribute toward this goal as we approach the funds needed for full completion. See the details on the flier below. 

Submitted by Jeanne and Donn Weaver of Cocoa Beach