Wednesday, June 26, 2013
This unusually shaped memorial is in Kearns, Utah. When I saw it, it stood in the corner of a Big Lots parking lot. A little odd I thought at the time, but it was at a fairly busy intersection so I figured that must have something to do with its placement.
Well, as luck would have it the road needed to be widened so the memorial has been moved. I have read that it has been refurbished and now sits across the street from a Kearns High School at the new Veterans Memorial Park at the local recreation center. The exact address is 5670 S. Cougar Lane (4800 West).
The original site, which reportedly was the site of the entrance to the now defunct Army base, Camp Kearns, which was closed in 1946, measured 20 by 20 and also housed a WW1 canon and some flag poles. All of these have been moved to the new site.
I have been unable to find any additional information about this site. As always, if you know something, I would love to hear about it. You can contact me at; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next time, on July 1st we will travel on to Carbon, Utah, so join me there as always at 9:00am
Friday, June 21, 2013
Just beyond a wind farm, I ran across this small, yet inclusive, memorial in Mapleton, Utah. It speaks eloquently to the sacrifice of so many throughout our history. Many are remembered here and I noticed something new on the memorial to our brothers and sisters in 'Nam. Each of their deaths is recounted with some detail. I found that I felt somewhat closer to each of these because I knew a little more about them. The memorial in Anchorage, Alaska says, "He was more than just a name on the Wall" and I have always liked the sentiment and found it greatly reinforced at this site in Utah.
The site sits at the intersection of Maple street and Main street in a lovely park area.
On the 26th of June, we will visit Kearns, Utah and see a memorial that is a little bit unusual. Join me there at 9:00am.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Utah, like all states I suppose, had people who backed or protested the war in Vietnam. These numbers like everywhere else ebbed and flowed with the news or politics of any particular day. It is interesting that on May 8, 1954, the Salt Lake City Tribune wrote a prophetic piece regarding the French failure at Dien Bien Phu. A French Cafe owner was quoted; "...they let our best soldiers get killed... (it was) not worth it!"
Utah contributed heavily to the war effort. 8.6% of her eligible citizens served making Utah the 5th most represented state. The national average was 6.9%. So, Utahans participated at a 25% higher rate than most and were behind only Alaska, Hawai'i, Washington, and Nevada. This is even more unusual because members of the LDS could get deferments for their missionary work, Utah had the highest college attendance rate in the country, and men tend to marry earlier in Utah than in other states. You may recall that married men were often not taken for service as readily as guys who were not married.
Like everyone else Utah eventually came to grips with the war and its aftermath and to welcome her sons and daughters home a beautiful memorial was built.
Honored here are the 388 men and one woman killed or who are still MIA.
The solder returning from some unnamed battle is carrying his buddy's rifle. He is surrounded by a curved, gray granite wall bearing, forever, the names of all the lost.
In 2012, Jan Scruggs asked the LDS to assist in gathering the pictures of all the lost men and women to be added to the new Education Center at The Wall. While many have been found, many more are still unavailable and it is hoped that the LDS will be able to contribute to the effort of honoring every name on The Wall. If you have pictures of any lost Vietnam vets, please contact contact the center here;
Next time we will visit a small memorial in a park in Mapleton, Utah. Join me, as always, on the 21st, at 9:00am.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Before we go to Utah, new information has come my way and I think many will find it interesting.
I have written, previously, about the Irish citizens who fought beside us, and died, in Vietnam. The number at the time it was first discovered to be true was 16 and their families were honored when the Traveling Wall visited Ireland. Since then the number has changed; to 19, then 22 and now 29. Not all of these were with U.S. Forces, some were Air America, the Canadian Military, the Australians, and AID. A total of 2500 Irish citizens participated in our efforts to aid the Vietnamese people.
There is a memorial, which I have posted elsewhere on this site, in Kilarney, at Adair Manor. This memorial, however, is not specifically to Irish Vietnam Veterans. All of that is about to change!
A new memorial honoring the 29 Irish citizens lost in the war has been approved to be built in Ennis, in County Clare. This is especially interesting and meaningful to me as my ancestors are from County Clare.
Currently in the design and fund raising stage, the memorial is a ways off and today I spoke with one of the organizers and they are hoping for 2014 completion and dedication.
If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful project, please go here;
On these pages you will see a tab called The 29 and if you click an individual name a short bio will appear.
If you would like to read more about the existing memorial at Adair, click on Colorado, at the left of this page. When it opens scroll back to the second or third post from Colorado to read more about it.
I encourage anyone who is interested to support this project, as I have, by sending a check to
OR To; The Irish Vietnam Veterans Memorial Project
P.O. box 90592
Alexandria, Virginia 22309
We will go to Utah, as previously promised, on the 16th at 9:00am.
UPDATE Just today I got an email from Declan Hughes who founded Irish Veterans. He and his organization feel that this project is untimely, unnecessary and wrongly uses information taken from their site. I currently have no opinion about this as I do not yet know enough to decide. You may want to check out Irish Veterans at, Irishveteransmemorialproject.com for more information about this issue.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
The final stop in Nebraska will, again, be in Omaha. Memorial Park was dedicated by President Truman in 1948 and has continued to grow since that time. In 1959, rose gardens, containing more than 100 bushes, were added to the '67 acre site and in 1968 a pedestrian foot bridge was added.
The park was the scene of a number of anti-Vietnam rallies and demonstrations during the 60's and 70's.
Sitting on a high hill, over looking the city, the park honors all who have served but Vietnam has several components here. First, the POW/MIA Flag. I know this has been become a more general acknowledgement of those who were POW/MIA from any war. But, it will always mean 'Nam to me. As I have written on other posts, it was designed originally for those in 'Nam and will remain so for me.
I couldn't find exact information about the statue but it seems to be a soldier holding a small emaciated boy. the boy is holding the soldiers canteen. I expect that this may be a WWII statue as the large Wall behind the statue is dedicated to and lists the names of the lost from WWII, but as I have no definitive information (and could not find any on line) this may not be the case. Also, two of the plaques, as mentioned above, refer to Korea and Vietnam.
Next time, we move on to Utah. So, join me in Salt Lake City on the 11th as always at 9:00am.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
A small memorial in Omaha honors Medal Of Honor Awardees. Four of these are from Vietnam. Three were killed in action and the other survived and went on to become the Governor and, later, a Senator. Located at Farnam and 18th streets it is called "Among the Valiant". The KIA Awardees, Keith Miguel, James Fous, and Robert Hibbs are listed on the main plaque and Joseph R. Kerrey is listed separately as "Not posthumously awarded"
These heroes have a celebrity in their midst. William F. Cody, better known to many as Buffalo Bill, is also a MOH awardee. He is not honored on this site but in my reading I discovered that this was so. I hadn't known that.
Here is what one site had to say about these heroes;
- Rank and Organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Combined Action platoon 1-3-2, 111 Marine Amphibious Force
- Place and Date: Quang Ngai province, Republic of Vietnam, 8 May 1970
KERREY, JOSEPH R.
- Rank and Organization: Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Naval Reserve, Sea, Air, and Land Team (SEAL)
- Place and Date: Near Nha Trang Bay, Republic of Vietnam, 14 March 1969
- Date of Issue: 05/14/1970
FOUS, JAMES W.
- Rank and Organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division
- Place and date: Kien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam, 14 May 1968
HIBBS, ROBERT JOHN
- Rank and Organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
- Place and date: Don Dien Lo Ke, Republic of Vietnam, 5 March 1966
- Date of Issue: 02/24/1967
You can read more about other Medal of Honor Awardees from Nebraska and elsewhere here;
Next time, we will visit the large multi-war memorial in Omaha. It sits high on a hill and is really quite stunning. So, join me on the June 6th, as always at 9:00 am.