Friday, July 19, 2019

Washington XVII

This is at least the third memorial I have found in Whatcom County and it is beautiful, and a bit confusing at the same time.

Set in this lovely memorial park it honors many of various wars.

 On this first wing, honoring all lost: world-wide deaths in the southeast Asia conflicts, American deaths, and Whatcom County deaths.

On this wing, the 28 names from Whatcom County.

 Pavers around the base name other who served.

The park may be found at King and E. Maryland Streets in Bellingham.

Next time, on the24th, we will return  to Alabama, so meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Virginia XIV

I have been on this journey for more than ten years now and during most of that time I have been aware of the Charlottesville, Virginia Vietnam memorial. It has been in and on my mind because it claims to be the oldest Vietnam memorial in the country. For all this time, I have said that I would just run down to Charlottesville and see it when I got a chance. It is not so very far from me that it seemed like a big deal. Kinda like living near DC and thinking, Oh I can go see the White House any time I want and then never doing it.

So, ten years slips by, nearly unnoticed.

If you have been following A Means to Heal for a while you may recall that several posts I have written from different areas of the country make the same claim of being the oldest or first Vietnam memorial.

The opportunity to visit Charlottesville finally presented itself and I jumped at the chance to confirm, or not, their claim.

 It has always been called the Dogwood Memorial and I was pleased to see that new Dogwoods have been planted all over the area.

 I like the fact that the area is referred to as The Hill That Heals echoing the name of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's (the folks that built The Wall in DC) The Wall That Heals. Not sure which came first, but I just like it.

Originally the memorial was dedicated to the  from the area thought to be lost and as is so often the case as time went on additional names were found and added to the original list.

The memorial has expanded over the years in to this most beautiful of sites and is, in fact, being worked on at this time.

I will post again about this sacred spot because there is a lot more here, but mostly because what the say seems to be true. Of all the memorials I have visited, hundreds and hundreds of them, this, in fact, the oldest one I have found.

Next time, on the 19th, we will return to Washington, so meet me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

WJFF 90.5fm

Recently I was in New York state photographing a few more memorials. While there I made a call to the local VVA and asked if they could point me towards memorials I might not know about. After a nice conversation with the VVA guy, he asked if I would speak to Doug Sandberg who broadcasts a show on the local Public Radio Station WJFF FM. I said sure and he said he would forward me contact information.

Shortly after, I received a call from Doug who wanted to know if I would be willing to be interviewed for his program,  Let's Talk Vets.

We arranged to set up a time and then did the interview.

So, tomorrow the 10th you will be able to hear some of the back story and history of A Means to Heal and a bit about my own times in 'Nam.

If you are in the New York, Catskills, area tune in to WJFF FM tomorrow, the 10th, at 7pm. If you are not in the immediate listening area, stream it at I do not know if it will be available after this date and time, so, if at all interested, check it out.

WJFF is Public Radio and is associated with American Public Radio, NPR, Public Radio International, and others.

Let me know what you think. I honestly don't know if I will tune in because like so many I just hate the sound of my own voice when I hear it recorded. On the other hand, I would like to see what makes the show. We talked for quite a while and I will be curious to see how it was edited.

Next time, on the 14th, we will get back to Virginia as previously promised.

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

Thursday, July 4, 2019

July 4, 2019

Most years I take a break from Vietnam memorials on special holidays and try to speak to other things. This year, on Independence Day, here is what's on my mind.

Today is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and our break away from England to become a new Nation.

This is completely wrong as any Historian will tell you.

The Declaration was signed in Philadelphia on July 2nd but the printer did not get around to printing it until the 4th, so...

No matter, I guess, except as a caution to be careful as to what you may believe or think you know.

Here's another. We believe we are the free-est of peoples, but according to the most recent American Legion magazine article by Alan W. Dowd, this is just not so.

According to the Human Freedom Index which factors in rule of law, freedom of movement, freedom of religion and a number of other "freedoms" the U. S. ranks number 17!

On the International Property Rights Index, we rank at number 14.

The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom: 12th.

On the Freedom House survey of political freedom we get a lower score than Canada, Costa Rica, Slovakia, Slovenia, France, and Finland.

The rest of Mr. Dowd's article is mostly a screed against government and you might agree or disagree, but my point is, not whether he is right or wrong, but, once again, be careful of what you think you know.

Some might argue that if you are not white and rich at the moment you are not doing as well as what we think our country promises us. Again a point argument will not decide if recent history is any indication.

So, I ask only that you do your homework, find out about what is happening in our country and the world. Research the various candidates and make a decision about for whom to vote.

Then Vote.

Too many of us say the parties are all the same and that it doesn't matter. But, it does and here is why. You may not think your vote matters and I know it is VERY easy to fall into this trap, but you know what?

Your boss is voting.

Your landlord is voting

Your banking officials are voting.

Your health care providers are voting.

The Insurance industry is voting.

The powerful interest groups are rallying their forces to vote.

The "military industrial complex" is voting.

Big oil is voting.

And, we out number them all, but only if we all educate ourselves and then, vote.

One final thing. No candidate is perfect, or embodies every single value or virtue we might want them to, or makes every decision just the way we might want them to, so you must find the person who most represents you, allow for their differences, and/or faults, and support them anyway.

Our way of life, our Democracy, our country, depends on it.

Next time, on the 9th, we will return to Virginia, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Rhode Island X

Practically on the Massachusetts border about 15 miles north of Providence is Woonsocket, Rhode island.

This really nice memorial to those lost in Vietnam is made of polished black granite greatly resembling The Wall in DC.

Dedicated on November 11th, 1984 it lists their names, all 17 from the area.

A unique piece of this story is retold upon the wall. The school children of the Woonsocket public and Catholic systems raised the money so that these might be remembered always.


The question of which is America's longest war depends from when you  are marking the war. The most common time frame of Vietnam is from '59 to '75, 14 years. But, if you count from when the first American solder was actually killed, 1956, you get a completely different count. So, I guess the debate will continue, perhaps far in to our future. It matters not to these honored here.

The memorial may be found on the corner of Worrall Street and Clinton Street near the post office and police station.

Next time, on July 4th, I'll have a special post, so take moment out from the celebrations, BBQ's, and fireworks to check it out.

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

Monday, June 24, 2019

Pennsylvania XVIII

Driving north from Frederick, Maryland into southern Pennsylvania, you can find Mountain Pass where we just happened upon this Monterey Pass Battlefield Park.

On the wall of the small building there, which was closed on this particular day, we found this touching memorial to a lone Vietnam vet.

We could find no additional information, but perhaps, none is needed.

The plaque says it all.

Often, these small, lesser known memorials are greater in impact than the their more famous cousins as they tell these individual stories of bravery, dedication and heroism.

Having visited most of the larger ones now, I am often humbled by these, the individual stories of our brothers and sisters.

Long may they be remembered.

Next time, on the 29th, we will revisit Rhode Island from which I have just returned, so meet me there, as usual, at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Oklahoma VIII

Once the Oklahoma Vietnam Memorial this site is still striking. While several wars are commemorated here, The Big Guy, a Nam vet, still watches over them all.

He continues to peer over at the Capitol building in constant reminder of the consequences of decisions made by our leaders: the decisions we pay the price for.

Oklahoma representatives moved the "official" site to Enid after the town purchased a retired Traveling Wall, but, the Big Guy doesn't care. He just stands sentry.

In keeping with my effort to single out faces, to see what the sculptors were trying to say, he is the next in The Faces of Remembrance series of posts. I see fatigue mixed with sadness.

I found this face on the Bas Relief of a scene of a Huey dropping off troops to face whatever comes next. He seems watchful above all else to me.

Another from the Bas Relief. Resignation? Grief?

Next time, on the 24th, we'll have another look in Pennsylvania, so meet me there, as always, at 9:00am.

To see additional pictures from Oklahoma, or any other state, please click the state name on the left side of this page.