Monday, June 14, 2021

Oregon XVIII

I have been trying for quite some time to find a way to use these photos in a post. They are just not that good: it was raining, very near dark and I just couldn't get the settings just right. So, every time I upgraded my software, I tried again to salvage them.
 
I have finally decided that they deserve to be seen, not because of the quality of the pics but because of the quality of the men and women the memorial represents and honors. My inabilities should not prevent that.

The memorial is found in Polk County, Oregon, at the Restlawn Memorial Gardens off Oak Grove Road near Salem.

 
The memorial is nestled in among thousands of markers to those lost, if not by war, then certainly to their friends and families.
 
 
As you can see the inscription is lost to my poor abilities but I was able to locate other pictures while searching ou the location.

 It reads as follows:
 
"IN MEMORY OF
ALL VIETNAM VETERANS


This memorial was erected in memory of the young individuals who went to war as kids and lost their youthful dreams, and some their lives for a cause - freedom and honor - and came back as men with the
horrors of war instilled in every fiber of their being and were never given the respect and honor they so dearly deserved from the public or the United States government.

God will one day judge our actions. Until then, He will shine on the lives of each veteran now and forever more because He was with each of them in Vietnam. He is the only One that truly knows what they went through and are living with every day."

While some of this sentiment has changed or softened over the years, for every veteran I know, these words still hold true and dear.

The silver lining should one actually exist is that today's younger vets are greeted more warmly and with greater respect regardless of what we might actually think or their particular war.

Next time, on the 19th, we will revisit Pennsylvania, so join me there at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from Oregon, or any other state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

North Carolina XVI

A few years back, Steve and I attended a Welcome Home in Fayetteville, the home of fort Bragg and the Green Berets.

It was quite an event and I have posted about it before on this site, but I remembered recently that there was a an adjacent area with several memorials within it. I looked up this one tonight.


Called the Freedom Memorial, this is one of the remembrances dedicated to Vietnam and our lost brothers and sisters.

 Many names from Fayetteville and other areas are honored here.


Some detail from the etched scenes, naturally you would expect to see an image of a Green Beret in their hometown.

As always, I was happy to find these pics from the place where I did my basic training all those years ago, 1966.

Next time, we will take another look at Oregon, so meet me there at 9:00am on June, 14.

To see additional memorials from North Carolina, or any other state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.

Friday, June 4, 2021

New York XXV

Before I left New York the last time, I checked to see if could locate any memorials as I was driving  home. I was happy to find a memorial on Staten Island that I could visit while heading south.

I got off the bridge at the right exit and proceeded to find my way.

It turns out that the memorial was actually located on a corner but within the grounds of a National Guard Armory.

There was absolutely no place to park even though I drove around for a while. So, I pulled up into the driveway/entrance to the Armory and was immediately met by a guard.

She approached by car and told me in mo uncertain terms that I was to turn around and get off the property NOW. I tried to explain that all I wanted was to take a photo of the memorial, just inside the fence, but she was having none of it. She repeated, her hand was actually on the her holster, that I was to get off the property ( I know what a threat I must have been, 70+ years old and all.) She did allow me to turn around, but stood there the whole time watching with a keen eye. I have to admit that I have wondered since what the hell must be going on in that NG Armory, but I digress.

So, reluctantly, I drove away. But, while slowed at the traffic light on the corner I grabbed my camera and fired off a few shots out the passenger side window as I drove by the site. They are not what I would have liked to have gotten, but here they are.

 The memorial is located on the corner of Manor Road and Martling Avenue in what is called Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park (even though, apparently no one is allowed in.)

 

Placed by Vietnam Veterans of America it honors the 84 or 85, I've seen both numbers, who were lost to us in Nam.

I will, at some point get back there and get better ones and will update them here.

Next time, on the 9th, we will venture back to North Carolina. So, as always, join me there at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from New York, or any other state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Memorial Day 2021


Once again we pause to remember all those who have given everything for our country.
Armed Forces Memorial, Hawai'i'
 
Some of our excursions into the politics and the soil of other countries have been more popular than others, but no one disputes the sacrifice made by so many.
 
Lincoln, Nebraska 
 
In doing some research for this post it has been shocking to see just how many involvements we have been in over our history. we all know the big ones, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American, WW1, WW2, Korea, Nam, Middle East, GWOT, but the number of what must be called lesser known is astounding. You can see a list of them taken from Wikipedia here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

Check it out you just might be amazed.

It is estimated that nearly 1.4 million Americans have been lost in these efforts and today we remember them all.

                                                Virginia Beach, Virginia 

This effort of mine, now spanning 12 years, has been an attempt to honor those lost in Nam and this seems like an appropriate place to say that many of you, over the years have asked ,"Have you done a book?" or "Are you planning to do a book?" and the answer is yes.

In fact, the original plan for A Means to Heal was to be just a book, not a web site, but many advised that it would be wise to have an online presence first. Well, after some hesitation, I decided to give it a shot and over time this online effort eclipsed the book project. That has finally been remedied and the print version of A Means to Heal is available. If interested, please contact your local book store and see if they have it. If not, ask then to get it for you. I've been told that if you do that, they will order extra copies for their shelves. Short of that, you can also get it from Amazon.

So, as you observe Memorial Day take a moment to remember why it exists, what it means, and how many were lost. It is not just about BBQ and beer.

R.I.P. to our brothers and sisters of every era.

Next time, on the 4th of June, we will return to New York, so join me there, as usual, at 9:00am.

To see Vietnam memorials from any state, please click on the state name on the left side of Thia page.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

New Mexico XX

I wondered in to the New Mexico State House one evening and found this display of all those from the state to have been recipients of the Medal of Honor.

While, of course it honors all, as it should, I noted that five of the fourteen listed were so awarded for their actions while in Vietnam.

The lighting was particularly horrible and added flash just made things worse, so I thought I might add the individual plaques here, poor lighting not withstanding.

SSG. Dix is interesting to me as I have found him claimed in several other states.  In addition to the MOH, he was awarded a Purple heart and a Cross of Gallantry. Read more about him here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drew_Dennis_Dix

SSG. Miller did 6 tours in Nam, was awarded the Purple Heart six times along with a silver Star and other awards.

You can read more of his story here:

https://sofrep.com/specialoperations/franklin-d-miller-mac-v-sog-awarded-medal-honor-january-5-1970/


W.O II Rocco saved several men from a burning chopper and was awarded several other honors.

Read about his interesting life here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_R._Rocco


LCPL Worley saved several of his comrades by throwing himself on a grenade.

His story is here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_L._Worley

And, finally, Spec 4 Fernandez who also sacrificed himself for his brothers by falling on a grenade.

His story follows here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_D._Fernandez

So, with Memorial Day fast approaching keep the reason for it in mind and remember these and so many others who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,

Next time, on the 30th I will go off script a little from Vietnam memorials to memorials to those we honor at this time of year. So, join me then at 9:00am to see memorials from other places to our brothers and sisters from all wars.

To see additional memorials from New Mexico, or any other state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.

Friday, May 21, 2021

New Jersey XXX

The beautiful New Jersey Vietnam Memorial is one of the very first I ever visited, back in 2009. 

It is large and powerful and you can see some of the original pictures I posted elsewhere on this site.

Today, I just want to share a couple more.

As I shared before you enter through the berms and then are completely engulfed in the site.

Climbing one of the several walkways you find yourself facing the circular wall of names. If there is any memorial that causes you to reflect, as so many attempt to do, this is the one. reflection after reflection after reflection creates an endless array of never ending walls and names.

Below, in the bowl, there is this reminder that many of our brothers and sisters returned home only to perish due to their service. For those who do not know, every year at The Wall in D.C. as part of the In Memory Program, the names of those lost each year due to illness, depression and other related causes are read aloud at The Wall's apex.

Here in New Jersey, the names are inscribed on these pavers.

Next time, on the 26th, we will have another look at New Mexico, so join me there at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from New Jersey, or any other state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Nebraska XVI

I have posted from the magnificent Veterans Memorial Garden in Lincoln, Nebraska before, but it was only in searching for additional sites to include here that I ran across this simple, yet poignant, memorial not far from the larger tribute to those lost in Vietnam, which stands nearby.

Located in Antelope Park at 3200 Veterans Memorial Drive it offers the somewhat unusual approach of not only honoring our brothers and sisters, but also allowing for some venting of anger and frustration with the war, the loss and about what was seen as a fruitless, poorly devised, and led endeavor.

As you can see the sun made this particular shot difficult to see, so I have a few shots better displaying the detail.



 

Three separate writings each reflecting the feelings of the individuals who penned them.

Next time, on the 21st, we will revisit New Jersey, so meet me there as always, at 9:00am.

To visit other memorials from any state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.