Saturday, March 27, 2010

Florida V

This memorial, located in the older section of town, along the river, was also unknown to a number of people I asked. It is across the street from the jail and the address is 5191 C. Willing Street. It covers 8000 square feet and has 24,000 bricks for personal dedications to Vets. Despite what I wrote in the previous post, further research as shown me that you can find any information you may need and, if you like, order a commemorative brick here;

The next set of pictures are of the Wall itself (note that only major events are listed) and several others from the site. It can be argued, I suppose, that the eagle may not be specifically Vietnam related but it adds to the overall impact of the site and reminds us all of the freedom we all cherish and for which so many have suffered and died. The soldier, while carrying a 'Nam era weapon, seems to speak to the universal loss of those involved in war. He holds the dog tags of a (presumably) lost comrade.

Another interesting fact is that the memorial is used as a classroom. The school board in conjunction with University of West Florida has created curricula that is now part of the 8th grade course of study. They created a book entitled "Freedom" which was given to every History class in the county. The book has been made available to school system or individual who might want it. You can find ordering information at the above URL.

I contacted the city and they were very responsive and generous about helping me get in touch, personally, with those who are involved with this memorial. I spoke with a Commissioner, who is also a Vietnam Vet. He was instrumental in this project and explained that the classroom, or "History Room", component was paramount in everyone's' mind. The different panels and monuments all tell the story of American history. For example, the Army marker (as well as each of the other service markers) contains images of soldiers from the Revolutionary War through modern times. He explained, too, that the bricks inside the main plaza are reserved for Veterans (now numbering 6,000), while the ones outside are available to any sponsor who would like to participate.

One last thing he told me is that from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm., every half hour on the hour, Taps is played at the site. I am not sure if I am happy or not that I happened to miss that. I am not sure I could have handled that on top of all the other feelings generated by this magnificent site.

One last time, Good job Milton!

1 comment:

  1. Milton had done a fantastic job of honoring their vets. I especially like the Wall of Tears.