Wednesday, September 17, 2014

North Carolina VI

The Durham North Carolina memorial has inscription on each side. The left panel speaks to the sacrifice made by so very many.

The right panel honors all who served, those lost and those who visit the site.

The names of those lost or MIA are inscribeed upon the blavk "V" adjacent to the panels.

Others are honored in the surrounding brick plaza.

Next time , on the 22nd, I will show several additional interesting components of this beloved memorial. So, join me at 9:00am.

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

North Carolina V

A few vets from the Durham area wanted to build a memorial to those who served and sacrificed so much in Vietnam. Rather than wait for approval form others, they set about building it themselves.

After some time, they raised money, designed and built it at the Edison-James Recreation Center which is part of the Museum of Life and Science. It is along a beautiful wooded path and is called a living memorial. It lists the names of the 38 killed and 1 MIA from the area.

The memorial was dedicated in 1992 and then for reasons still unknown, somebody took a piece of construction machinery and destroyed it in 2001! The community was devastated but their anger soon turned to action and it was rebuilt. This time, rather than a few vets working for it, the whole community pitched in. Money, labor, and materials were donated substantially reducing the cost of rebuilding the site.

Some had said it was as if their loved ones had been killed again, but the efforts to rebuild and improve the site brought many together again.

Today, I will show you a few initial photos. In the next one or two posts I will concentrate upon some of the details.

Rebuilt in the original wooded spot, the memorial, I think, is better than ever.

There are five benches that invite ivisitors to sit and reflect. Each bench represents one branch of the service. The flags are National, State and POW/MIA. The POW/MIA in particular is very faded. I once had a guy, who was in charge of replacing flags for his city, tell me that flags generally last about 30 days. so, the cost must become an issue at some point.

The memorial itself is polished granite and contains, names, quotes and maps. I will show them in more detail in the next post.

So, join me on the 17th, at 9:00am for more from Durham, North Carolina.

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

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New York V

While traveling through western New York, we came upon a memorial to the Navy's Sea Bees. I had never seen one just like this so we stopped. The term Sea Bees, as you may know, comes from Construction Battalions (CBs) and in one form or another these CBs have a long and storied history. I was surprised to find that the first U.S. intervention in Vietnam took place in 1845 when The Constitution was in Danang harbor and heard of an imprisoned Bishop. The Captain sent marines and Sea Bees to rescue him. To make a long story shorter, he was eventually freed.

The memorial is in North Tonawanda, New York in Fisherman's Park and is really impressive.

A Medal of Honor awardee from the Vietnam War is honored here.

An artist vision of a Sea Bee.

A whole wall of Sea Bees lost in Vietnam.

I have written before about the fact that nearly 9 out of every 10 guys in 'Nam was doing something other than direct combat and these numbers show that they paid the price, too.

North Carolina is next; meet me there on the 12th, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Mexico V

In Northern New Mexico lies the town of Springer. It is west of Taos and south of Trinidad, Colorado. I have attempted to get there before but was unable to do so. I was recently in Colorado and managed to get down to Springer and am really thrilled that I did.

In front of the "Old Colfax Court House" on Maxwell Ave is a small, enclosed area that is replete with memorials and remembrances. A couple, like the Vietnam Memorial are made of stone, but several others are carved wooded tributes, all done by the same man, "Eugene."

The Vietnam Memorial lists the fifty-one names of those from the area that served. There are no designations as to KIA/MIA so one assumes, hopes, that all returned safely.

Within one of the wood carvings, all from tree trunks or limbs, is this plaque. It honors all who have served, from WWI to Iraq and Afghanistan.

 I know that I repeat myself. Please indulge me. What small towns, like Springer, do for their vets is, so often, astounding. Thank you Springer.

On the 7th, at 9:00am, we will venture back to New York. See you there!

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Jersey V

I have spent a lot of time driving around New Jersey. It is not that far from where I live and is where much of my family came from, so it is always good to go there.

The memorial I am posting today is one of several that sit along White Horse Pike (rte. 30.) The Vietnam memorial among the others says Borough of Berlin and I have been unable to determine the difference between the borough and the town of the same name. Perhaps a reader will be able to help!

Near Taunton Ave. on the White Horse Pike is this really beautiful little memorial area. It contains remembrances to WWI and II, Korea, and 'Nam.

Off to the right in the first picture stands this tribute to those who served in 'Nam. There are no names listed.

My reading has turned up one name from Berlin, NJ, but as I said, I cannot tell if this is actually the same place. I have two other small memorials from places in the state called Berlin, so I am actually a bit confused.

You can see from the inscription that this was dedicated in 1983 and I read today, that the VFW in the area is seeking names of those who served from the "Boro" to be added to a plaque at "The War Memorial" but calls to that VFW were not answered. If I learn more, I will certainly update you here.

From here, we will return to New Mexico, from which I have just returned. So, join me on the 2nd of September, as always at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

New Hampshire IX

Some days you just cannot predict what will happen. I was in Nashua, New Hampshire on one of my very first trips to find Vietnam memorials. I was truly flying by the seat of my pants as to how to do this. Unable to find the memorial I was looking for, I walked into City Hall and into the Mayor's office. Needless to say, I didn't get to see the Mayor, but I did get to meet his Administrative Assistant and boy was that lucky!

She not only went well out of her way to help me locate the memorial, she also hooked me up with one of the guys responsible for it. I talked with him at some length and he told me that the original memorial had been built down by a creek and was eventually pretty much forgotten about. After trying unsuccessfully to get it cared for, he and a couple of other vets took it upon themselves to change things and the current site is the result. Thank you to each of these kind folks who helped me get started on this journey and for honoring those nearly forgotten heroes.

To make a long story at little shorter, the memorial was eventually moved to it's current location and a new was was added at the same spot.

The park is now The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park and is home to Cal Ripkin Baseball as well as the memorials.

The original, smaller memorial was moved to this new location.

Plaque detail

The newer memorial, added in 2008, lists the names of all 18 from the Nashua area who were lost.

So, the journey has continued, and grown, to where we are today. I have visited every state at least once, some many more, and have visited somewhere around 500 memorials. The journey is not over. I have leaving soon to return to Colorado, then Nevada, then Maine, Oregon, and Washington, who knows after that?

Next time, however, we will revisit New Jersey. Join me on the 28th at 9:00am.

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nebraska VI

I revisited Nebraska this summer and while doing my research I came upon an article about the dedication of a new memorial in South Sioux City. A half scale model of The Wall, it sits in what is known as Freedom Park and, like The Wall, it contains all the names of those lost, more that 58,000.

A giant flag stands watching over the park and The Wall.

As you can see from the pictures, the park is still under construction. Much more is planned including a huge interpretive center to be begun this summer.

It was interesting to me to find that, just like all the other memorials, people are already leaving tributes and mementos. I do not know if these will be collected and archived like at some others, but they are there already.

The stone for this 250 foot long remembrance came from the same quarry, in India, as the stone for the national memorial in D. C.

This is one of very few that replicate The Wall. I have seen others but they are usually "retired" traveling walls that places (Altoona, Pa, Butte, Montana and Pensacola, Fl.) have purchased when they became available. This may be the only other, built from the ground up, exact replica I have seen.

Next time, we will travel back to New Hampshire, so, join me there on the 23rd, as always, at 9:00am.

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