Monday, March 2, 2015

Nevada III

Henderson, Nevada is a town that sprang up during WWII to help with the war effort. Twenty five percent of all the Magnesium used by the War Department during WWII came from Henderson. Located some 15 miles south of Las Vegas It was a quick trip down to see The Wall that I had read about. Or, so it seemed.

My buddy Steve and I drove down and searched for quite some time, only to find road construction, dead ends and no memorial. I was pretty disappointed, but was finally forced to admit I was not going to find it. I figured that maybe all the construction in the area had displaced it, it has happened before.

While returning from other trips around the state, I decided to give it one more try, I really did not want to miss a memorial, if it was actually available. I called the City Hall and was told that the memorial was right on the grounds and that the first directions I had been using were wrong. So, we made it over and I am very glad we did. As you can see it is quite a memorial, a little off the beaten path, somewhat hidden by the building and some trees, but well worth the effort.

The memorial itself is made up of several walls, each honoring different groups of people. There are currently more than 1500 names of those who have served and/or were lost. there is a central fountain and several flags throughout the site.

There is a specific wall for KIAs, now numbering four, with way too much space, one hopes, for future additions.

I have mentioned on other posts that I am always pleased to see War Dogs remembered, as they are here.

As mentioned earlier the memorial;l is located at the Henderson City Hall, but is hard to see from the street. You can wander around the building and find it, but we walked in and were directed through the building, perhaps a little easier.

Next time, we will wander back across the country to New Jersey. So,please  join me there on the 7th, as always, at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from Nevada, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Nebraska VII

While driving through Nebraska, I noticed a sign in the town of North Bend. It directed me to Veteran's Park.

Like so many small towns, North Bend created a memorial to all from the area who have served or were lost in any of our wars.

This beautiful little park sits on the corner of Main Street and 9th on land donated by an Omaha couple.

North Bend lies 50 miles north of Lincoln and 50 miles west of Omaha. It is  a small, mostly agricultural, town of about 1200 citizens.

While many are remembered here, the latest addition to the park is this soldier  kneeling, remembering, honoring, grieving at a Field Cross; marking the spot where a comrade died.The statue is based upon a previous placement, elsewhere, of a WWII soldier seeking his lost friends, but he represents us all. Here, he reaches for the dog tags of his lost friend.

Found here, too, is a tribute to all those who were lost.

There are no long lists of names here. Many are remembered with bricks purchased by loved ones. I could not determine a difference between bricks honoring service or the ultimate sacrifice.

Finally, POW/MIAs are remembered. I have written before about how this design was created by the wife of a Vietnam POW. It come to be universal and that is as it should be, but to me, it will always be Vietnam.

So, while not specifically a tribute to Vietnam, we are indeed remembered and this, too, is as it should be.

Next time, on March 2nd, we will revisit Nevada, so meet me there, as always, at 9:00am.

To see other memorials in Nebraska, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Massachusetts V

Middleboro lies about 40 miles south of Boston, and on Main Street, on the Town Hall lawn, is a memorial to all those who have given their lives or served in our country's wars.

It is quite a beautiful place and consists of a number of memorials. There are at least three to Vietnam and at some point I will post about them all.

Today, I will concentrate on the major memorial on the site.

This, the largest of the memorials here, has been around for quite some time although I have been unsuccessful at determining exactly when it was placed.

 Those from our war seem to have been added at some later time than the original WWI and WWII.

This flag pole which was added when the park was expanded and improved recently, stands in the middle of a large circle made of bricks. The bricks bear the names of and honor many from various wars.

This is a beautiful remembrance to so many and very worth the time if you happen to be in the area. You could easily spend quite a while seeing the varied memorials here. It is located on South Main Street between Rock Street and Webster Street. As I mentioned above, I will post more of the interesting components of this site sometime in the near future.

Next time, on the 25th, we will check out a site in Nebraska, so join me there at 9:00am, as usual.

To see additional memorials from Massachusetts, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Maryland VII

In a small residential park in Gaithersburg, MD is this dignified and somber remembrance of a local man who turned out to be a hero.

William Christman was a second Lieutenant in the Marines and his groups' mission was to take out a bunker complex near the Ashau Valley.

The mission was accomplished but with significant loss. 10 were killed and 61 more were wounded. 105 North Vietnamese Regulars were killed.

For his actions, leadership, and bravery Lt Christman was awarded the Navy Cross

Gaithersburg sacrificed several others of her sons and nearby this memorial is another honoring them all. I will post about that one in the near future.

Here is the text of the citation as shown upon the plaque.

"For extraordinary heroism while serving as a platoon commander with Company A, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the afternoon of 22 February 1969, Company A was patrolling north of the Ashau Valley in Quang Tri Province when its lead element was pinned down by intense fire from a large North Vietnamese Army force, well concealed in a heavily fortified bunker complex. Reacting instantly, Second Lieutenant Christman deployed his platoon to the right flank of the lead platoon and skillfully manoeuvered his men forward in a coordinated attack until halted and pinned down by the extremely heavy volume of cross fire from the North Vietnamese emplacements and numerous sniper positions in trees. He directed the fire of his machine guns and light antitank weapons against the North Vietnamese emplacements and mounted such an aggressive assault that his platoon moved through the forward enemy positions. Undaunted by the enemy rounds impacting around him, he fired his light antitank assault weapon, and fearlessly charging across the fire-swept terrain, hurled hand grenades into a hostile emplacement, killing seven North Vietnamese soldiers and silencing their machine guns. Coming under fire from an adjacent bunker, he was mortally wounded while attempting to fire his light antitank assault weapon against the emplacement. With his remaining strength, he resolutely propped himself up on one arm to direct his men in outflanking and destroying the enemy bunker. His heroic actions inspired his men to such aggressive action in a coordinated company attack that 105 North Vietnamese soldiers were killed and a large bunker complex was destroyed. By his courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant Christman upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

Christman Park is located on W. Deer Park Road between Brighton Drive and Sunnyside Court. Next time, on the 20th, we will return to Massachusetts, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am

To see more memorials from Maryland, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Maine VII

Often, as I drive throughout the country, I come across some unexpected memorials. This was the case, recently, as I drove through Maine. In the town of Gardiner, in a small city park stood this lone tribute to many from the area lost in our many wars.

Adjacent to a nice gazebo and under the watch of the U.S. and POW/MIA flags this single stone lists the names of many.

Those of our brothers from 'Nam, ten in all, are not forgotten.

This bench was donated by the Cole Transportation Museum (Bangor) which is the home to a large memorial honoring all from Maine. You can see it elsewhere on this site.

This memorial may be found in the park at Lincoln Street and Washington Avenue.

Next time, on the 15th, we return to Maryland, so join me there at 9:00am.

To see other memorials from Maine, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Idaho V

Brent Baumert died in Vietnam in 1966. He was a radioman for his company, was missing for a couple of days and was found dead.

His buddies, back in Twin Falls, wanted to build a memorial in his memory. As the plan progressed, three more names from the area came to light and it was decided to honor them as well as any future casualties.

Sadly, that number has grown to 17 and they are all listed, remembered, and honored on this memorial actually built by two of Baumert's friends.

It stands on the edge of Twin Falls City Park on the corner of 6th Street and Shoshone and was the first memorial to Vietnam in the state of Idaho.

As many of you know, I am involved in trying to create a memorial in my town. We have estimated that it might cost as much as 500,000 dollars. This memorial cost $500 and, as mentioned earlier,
was hand built by two people.

Dedicated on the town's 99th commemoration of  Memorial Day in 1967, it joins the list of very early remembrances and may actually be among the very first.

Next time, on the 10th, we return to Maine. Join me there at 9:00am for a new memorial to those lost in 'Nam.

To see additional memorials from Idaho, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Florida X

Port St. Lucie lies on the Atlantic coast of Florida about 90 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale. At the Veteran's Memorial Park on Veteran's Memorial Highway is this memorial that is very reminiscent of The Wall in DC.

It lists the 1954 from the state who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. They are honored and remembered here forever.

This portrayal of The Three Servicemen gives a slightly more stark version of the message from the one in DC.

It always makes me feel a little better when I see that those who suffered long after the war are remembered. I read this week that 22 service personnel resort to suicide every day. We are getting better at dealing with the suffering and loss of our brothers and sisters but for far too many the help comes too little, too late.

One of the markers at the site proclaims this to be Florida's Vietnam Memorial. I am not sure who gets to decide that because the official one is in Tallahassee (seen elsewhere on this site) but, I guess it does not matter to me, there cannot be too many in my opinion. 

In Ireland there is a "discussion" going on as to whether there should be a second memorial built to the many Irish citizens who came to America to enlist in the service and fight in Vietnam. There were actually quite a few and at least 19 are honored on The Wall and I don't see how an additional memorial should bother anyone.
Detail from above

Next time, on February 5th, we will meet again in Idaho. So, join me there at 9:00am

To see more memorials from Florida, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.