Sunday, April 10, 2011


I don't usually post scenery pics but I just couldn't resist this one from just outside Anchorage. Talk about "...Purple Mountain Majesties"!! This might be a good place to remind you that if you "click" on a picture it will enlarge for a better view!

I traveled in Alaska in the late 80's and found a 139 foot, Sitka Spruce flagpole dedicated to Vietnam Veterans. It was on what is called the Park Strip in Anchorage. This area was, at the time of the founding of Anchorage, an area that was used as a park, a golf course and a little later a landing strip for airplanes.

When I returned, all these years later, I found that the flagpole had been replaced with another Sitka Spruce and the area had been altered to become a multi-war site. In an ensuing conversation with a member of the Vietnam Veteran's Motorcycle Club, I discovered that the club had added the names of the 57 Alaskans lost in 'Nam to the site and the State objected! I was astounded by this as he explained that they had been told that their memorial would have to be removed! Well, they went to court and won a partial victory. The plaques bearing the names could stay, but the site would have to be opened to other groups who might want to put something there. So, now, there are several other placements there.

At first, I was pretty angry about this, but my contact told me that this was not an anti Vietnam Vet or memorial stand by the State, but rather that the military plays such a huge role in the life of the State that it does not want to single out any war, or group, as being more deserving of respect than another. While this explanation calmed me a little, I would think that a State that has all that oil money (every citizens gets thousands of dollars in payment, every year) could afford to honor its war dead, but that's just me!

The site now bears the two 'Nam plaques placed by the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club and several others honoring other vets. The statue of the soldier looks, to me, like a WWII vet, but the quote about what vets see I have most often seen in conjunction with Vietnam sites. I could well be wrong about this and if you know, please feel free to let me know.

1 comment:

  1. I love the plaque that says "he's more than just a name on the wall". This is a beautiful site.