Saturday, November 3, 2012

Arkansas VII

My last stop in Arkansas was in Texarkana. Actually, Texarkana, as the name implies is actually in Arkansas and Texas. The state line runs right through town and I have read that he memorial actually sits on the line, part in Arkansas and part in Texas! But, it actually is dedicated to and honors soldiers from four states, Oklahoma and Louisiana, also, border the area and these, too, are remembered here.

The memorial began as a community project that fizzled out over time until the local Vietnam Veterans of America (278) decided to revive it and make it a reality. Once work began in earnest, in July 1988, things began to happen. Local contractors and businesses donated money, materials and services to the chapter members who were hard at work on their own. After a few months of mostly volunteer labor the site was dedicated in November of  '88!

The site remembers nearly 400 lost from Vietnam and on the other side of the memorial, Korea. Since the dedication, another plaque has been added honoring 20th Century Veterans and listing those lost in other actions since Vietnam.

I called today to get an exact count (226)  of Vietnam vets listed on the site. The very nice woman I spoke with at the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce did not know and was unable to find that info in records at her disposal. So, she said she was going to "send somebody down there to get a correct count" and that she would call me back later. (She called about an hour later!) This made me think that my last stop in Arkansas was a mirror image of my first. If you are a follower of this site you know that Dr. Ware, the Historian at the State Capitol went out, himself, to ensure that the count I had for all of Arkansas was correct! I am, once again, astounded at the kindness of people and saying thank you seems insufficient.

Update: The memorial, while it rests upon State Line Avenue, is actually located in the State of Texas! Thanks once again to the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce! I will, however, leave it listed here with Arkansas memorial as I was in Arkansas for this trip. When those from Texas click on Texas on the left side of this page, it will appear there, too!

In doing my research, I was interested to learn that a number of prominent people are from Texarkana. Scott Joplin, Parnelli Jones, Ross Perot and a number of others all come from the area.

Next time, we move into Missouri. There are interesting sites and stories from The Show Me State. Join me there on the 8th, as always, at 9:00am.

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