Yellow umbrellas at Alki Beach, but no rain: Here’s what this one-day art installation is all about

10:44 AM: Those yellow umbrellas are part of a one-day art installation at Alki Beach that Charlotte Starck hopes will send a message to the other side of the world. Here’s her explanation:

A pop-up environmental art installation, I call, The Umbrella Postcard: Seattle to Troops made of yellow umbrellas set in the sand in the shape of a yellow ribbon. The intent is to make it viewable from the sky for the world to see. Underneath: the words “Come home safe.”

The exhibit is also lined with 13 American flags in memory of the 13 service members who died Thursday in the Kabul airport attacks. Each flag has the name, hometown, and age of the servicemember – most in their early 20s.

For pedestrians, we will tie yellow ribbons and put signs on the lamp posts lining the exhibit on Alki at the volleyball courts. The exhibit will be taken down at twilight Monday.

Starck created this with daughter Sarah Hall and Brandon Rodriguez.

She says the airport bombing troubled her so much that, “I wanted to do something broad that would send a clear and direct message from Seattle to Kabul, and I believe ‘A picture paints a thousand words’.” The yellow ribbon is the original awareness ribbon, dating back to the Iran hostage crisis in the late ’70s.

12:18 PM: Added that photo from our return to Alki to check on the finished installation.

3:42 PM: Here’s the aerial view, by Howard Shack:

18 Replies to "Yellow umbrellas at Alki Beach, but no rain: Here's what this one-day art installation is all about"

  • yvonne zaske August 30, 2021 (12:37 pm)

    Are there any arial shots of this? Just curious. Very cool.

  • momof3boys August 30, 2021 (12:38 pm)

    Beautiful. Thank you for bringing attention to this tragedy. Hopefully someone with a drone can get an aerial view.

  • curious August 30, 2021 (12:38 pm)

    Are there any arial shots of this? Just curious. Very cool.

    • WSB August 30, 2021 (1:16 pm)

      They were arranging for drone photography.

  • EricR August 30, 2021 (12:55 pm)

    The yellow ribbon goes back a lot farther than the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis.  Anybody remember the Tony Orlando and Dawn song?  Wikipedia says that the yellow ribbon goes back to the 1800’s

    • WSB August 30, 2021 (1:16 pm)

      That’s addressed in the story I linked, which is the obituary for the woman who originated the yellow ribbons for the hostages – who included her husband – and was indeed inspired by the song.

  • Sillygoose August 30, 2021 (1:02 pm)

    I love this so much!!!  You are a beautiful soul to do this to honor our fallen sons.  This last attack was difficult for all of us.  Thank you for creating this installation.

  • Karen August 30, 2021 (1:56 pm)

    👏👏🙏🙏thank you💝💝

  • Out for a Walk. August 30, 2021 (2:48 pm)

    An historic day!  We have witnessed history. Thank you West Seattle Blog,

  • Michelle S August 30, 2021 (4:33 pm)


  • Marisol Rodríguez August 30, 2021 (5:04 pm)

    Ningunos padres deberían quedarse esperando que sus hijos regresen a casa salvos de las estupidas guerras que los cobardes y miserables comienzan cubriéndose con los cuerpos de estos jóvenes soldados. Sus sueños y sus esperanzas de abrazar a sus familias hoy a donde irán? Ninguna familia debería llorar la injusta muerte de sus tan amados hijos! Vivan los caídos y que sus muertes sean los motivos que nos lleven a ser mejores seres humanos. Vivan los héroes cuyas jóvenes almas hoy están donde el miedo no existe jamás. Oremos por un seguro regreso a casa de los que aún no llegan. 💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛

  • Erin98126 August 30, 2021 (5:13 pm)

    So beautiful! Thank you for this.

  • Kris deL August 30, 2021 (5:43 pm)

    What a thoughtful tribute!!!!

  • bradley August 30, 2021 (5:54 pm)


  • Jearit Grennan August 31, 2021 (5:10 pm)

    Thank you so much from a retired army nurse

  • Navy Brat September 1, 2021 (3:45 pm)

    “Come Home Safe” was my childhood prayer.  Sadly, it’s still relevant today. Thank you for this memorable postcard. Please Come Home Safe. 

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