Monday, February 6, 2012

Texas III

I went to Waco not knowing what to expect. All I knew was what I had heard many years ago about the David Koresh and the incident with the Branch Davidians. Not much to go on.

What I found was a lovely town with one of the nicest Vietnam memorials I have seen.

I copied the following directly from the website;

"The memorial in located at University Parks Drive and Washington Ave in downtown Waco. It is situated in a park-like setting adjacent to the beautiful Brazos River.

As one approaches the memorial, the first sight is a quarter circle concrete wall with the inscription VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL. Extended from one end of the quarter circle are six linear concrete wall sections. A plaza is located beyond the wall. It is designated Veterans Plaza and is dedicated to this country's veterans, past, present and future. The linear wall sections facing the plaza contain bronze seals of the five branches of military service. These seals recognize the contributions of servicemen and women during the Vietnam War.

A walkway leaves the plaza and leads through a grove of 64 trees. The trees are in memory of the 64 servicemen from Waco and McLennan County who died in Vietnam. One tree ring stands empty in recognition of those still missing in action. Three pavilions are located within the trees:

Pavilion I, The Beginning, represents our country, our families and us as individuals before the Vietnam War. Its granite markers states, "Before the Vietnam War, We Were Whole."

Pavilion II, The Conflict, is encountered further along the walkway. It is similar to Pavilion I, but it is broken and torn down. It symbolizes the war itself, the destruction and turmoil, the loss of life and the divisiveness within our country. Its marker states,” The Vietnam War Brought Destruction And Turmoil.”

Pavilion III, The Honor, is the final pavilion. Its marker is inscribed, "The Sacrifices of Those We Honor Make This Hallowed Ground. Let us Strive to Reunite and Heal." First, it pays tribute to the Waco and McLennan County servicemen who gave their lives in the war. On another level it recognizes the efforts of all American servicemen and servicewomen (those who died as well as those who survived) who served during the Vietnam era.

Finally, it endeavors to heal, to reconcile and to reunite all of us now that the war is over. Pavilion III is Pavilion II reconstructed to look like Pavilion I. The pillars of Pavilion III have cracks to show where the broken pillars have been put back together. The axis of Pavilion III is at an angle as compared to I and II, showing that despite our intentions to heal and to reunite, things will never be the same as they were before the war (Pavilion I). A monument stands inside Pavilion III which memorializes, by name, the 64 Waco and McLennan County casualty deaths. The monument is also in remembrance of all who served."

On May 8th, 2010, three more names were added to the Wall bringing the total for the area to 67.

In the next post, I will include more specific details from this great site.

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