Sunday, May 1, 2016

Louisiana XI

This memorial to Capt. Bennett is on the campus of the University of Louisiana. I read that he graduated from Southwestern Louisiana and I do not know if they are connected, but I assume that may be the case.

Having only one usable parachute, after being hit, he tried to ditch his plane in an attempt to save his colleague and in fact, did so, at the cost his own life.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

He is interred at the Lafayette Memorial Cemetery in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Next time, on the 6th, we will revisit Maine, so join me there, as usual, at 9:00am.

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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Indiana VIII

So, in preparing to write about Louisiana, I stumbled across another site I had overlooked. I promise we will get to Louisiana, soon. I hesitate now to predict!

 This one, in Indiana, is at the Parke County Court House, the older memorial covers a lot, the smaller, newer one adjacent to it covers Vietnam.

Two from the area are remembered and honored here.

The Court House is in Rockville, Indiana on the corner of Ohio and Market Streets.

Parke County lies on the western border of Indiana almost exactly half way down the state. The 2010 census reported a population of 2607, again, small towns do great things.

Next time on the 30th, we will return to Louisiana, I mean it this time, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Illinois IX

I know that last time I said we would be in Louisiana today, but I ran across this small memorial in Virginia, Illinois and thought I would share it. We will move on to Louisiana, next time.

I was just driving, headed somewhere else, when we came upon this one, yes, my lifelong buddy, Steve, was with me on this trip.

It isn't huge, it lists no names and is dedicated to the lost of more than one war, but as I have said before, this is often the way of small towns. many just do not have the resources to build new memorials to every war we seem to get involved in. The 2010 census counts 1611 in this city 30 miles northwest of Springfield.

This one is located on the N.E. corner of the Court House lawn at S. Main and E.Springfield Streets.

I was not able to discover just how many were lost from Cass County, but I did find that two from Virginia are among them.

So, next time , on the 25th we will check out Louisiana once again, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Friday, April 15, 2016

Idaho VII

Inside the City Hall in Nampa is this replica of the Liberty Bell.

The day I visited I was unable to find anyone who could tell me about the memorial. Today, I was able to contact the City Clerk who assured me that all from the State of Idaho were honored here.Inscribed beneath it are the names of the 216 from Idaho who were lost in Vietnam.

The City Hall is located at the intersection of 3rd Street and 5th Avenue and outside the building is a Peace Garden mentioned earlier on this site.

Next time, on the 20th, we will return to Louisiana, so join me there, as always, a 9:00am

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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Florida IX

I had seen a number of pictures of this memorial and was desperate to find out where it was located. This is not always an easy task and took going down a number of dead ends before someone finally pointed me in the right direction. Even with the direction, I almost missed it.

If you were dropped into the middle of this place and it didn't have sidewalks, you might believe you were in 'Nam. The jungle like surroundings only make the memorial more meaningful.

The sculptor purposely made the chair representative of all lost and missing. He said that doing this makes it personal to each person who sees it. He says it "... is so non specific that it is specific.." we each bring our own memory we all know who is missing from our tables.

It reminds me a little of the P.O.W. table settings one often sees. Each element carries a particular meaning and this is true here, too.

The folded flag recalls the flag presented to the family at a military burial, the empty boots will never be worn again, and the dog tags, well, they say it all, "The cost of Freedom."

The memorial sits on the grounds of the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens located at 78 E. Granada Blvd.

Next time, on the 15th, we will return to Idaho, so join me there at 9:00am. In the meantime, I will continue to work on getting Honor and Gratitude posted.

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Honor and Gratitude

My home county declared 2015 the Year of the Veteran and their Families. I wrote before about the Welcome Home for Vietnam vets that was held last fall and in conjunction with all of this the county asked Emmy winning film makers Barbara Grunbaum and Dan Rankin to create and produce a documentary about 'Nam vets from the county. Dan explained from the very beginning that their interest was to not talk to the usual suspects but to tell the stories of those whose boots were actually on the ground, those doing the everyday work, those actually fighting the war.

Through circumstances I can't really explain, I was asked to be among those interviewed. In total there were 7 of us who ranged from the very first resident of the infamous Hanoi Hilton, to an Army nurse who was later characterized in the TV show about Army nurses called China Beach, to my buddy who actually pushed Ron Kovic ( Born on the 4th of July) down Pennsylvania Ave. in his wheelchair to demonstrate against the war at the Nixon White House and several more, including me. The intent was to illuminate what our particular experiences in-country were, what is was like coming home and how we might have been affected as we moved through the rest of our lives. It achieves these in remarkable fashion and we were all blown away by the job Barbara and Dan and all those who assisted them were able to do. I was humbled to sit among these heroes and am not sure I actually belonged there. However, I was and that presents this opportunity to share the film with you. (Maybe that's why I was there)

Honor and Gratitude was premiered on March 23rd, so it is brand new and you will be among the very first to get to see it in its entirety. I hope you will take the time, it does take about an hour, and that you will let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.

So, it is a great honor and privilege to share Honor and Gratitude with you. Enjoy!

I've had a little trouble getting this to start, if you do, you can see it here, too.

Next time, on the 10th, check out a new site from Florida. See it at 9:00am, as always.

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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Delaware VII

Last time I promised a very special post today, however, it is not quite ready, so hopefully very soon. In the meantime, I decided to post this which I have held off on doing as will be explained below. Enjoy.

Very early in my travels, in fact in August of 2009, I wandered into a place in Townsend, Delaware. I saw a sign along the road referring to Vietnam vets and made the left turn into a nearly hidden area.

Driving slowly down the gravel road, through the area surrounding bushes and shrubs, I came face to face with a Huey. Gives one pause.

Further exploration revealed a compound like area with a pavilion, a memorial and a number of campers on site. I could find no one present so I took a few pictures and moved on. I wondered if I had been on private property and violated anyone's privacy or rights. I never posted those pics because I was unsure of these questions.

Today, I came across them, once again, and wondered about this site some more. I was able, this time, to come up with a phone number ( I tried in the past and was not successful) and had a great chat with one of the members. He assured me that he had no objection to my posting the pics and invited me to return as they have added a number of things to the site. I will be doing that in the near future and will post about this site again then.

For today, I will share just a couple of the pics from that initial visit.

The main feature of the site, all those years ago, was this Huey, now a tank, among other things, has been added to the site.

The boots represent a lost member of the group.

At the base of the flag pole rests this reminder of why they are there and the purpose of this on going endeavor. There will be more on this feature in the future post. The fellow I spoke with today says that it has been renovated and upgraded since I was last there.

I have commented before about the differences between what I call "corporate or state" memorials and those actually created by vets. I love them all. this journey would not have been possible without them, but I do have a spot in my heart for these created by us. they are , to me, the most heartfelt, the most primitive, if you will, and therefore, "real".

So hats off and many thanks to the members of the Vietnam Veterans M.C. at Fire Base Lloyd in Delaware for their service in 'Nam and their service now. Great job, guys!

Next time, on the 5th of April, we will slide down the east coast to check out another site in Florida, so join me there, as usual, at 9:00am. I may have that special post ready by then and will slip it in if possible.

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