Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ohio III

In Massillon, a town we went to to check out J&J Motorcycles, we found this monument is a small memorial area near City Hall. There are several war memorials along this narrow strip of land but this one, alone, has a permanent sentry, always on guard. The site honors all those from Stark County who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ohio II

This magnificent memorial site is often referred to as the Ohio Vietnam Memorial and I believe it serves as such. However, it is actually a joint effort by vets, citizens, and private companies. In fact, the state of Ohio is not involved at all.

Far from complete, the are plans for a reflecting pond, helicopter placements, a Blue Star Mother Statue, a heroes wall, a visitor's center and much much more.

For more info;

I think the pictures need no explanation or further comment, especially if you have read the previous post, except to say that the Gold Star Mother statue was dedicated to Sharon Lane and her mother was on hand to assist in the ceremony. Sharon lane is considered the only woman actually killed in direct combat in 'Nam. There is a VVA chapter dedicated to her and other memorials in Ohio. She is one of the eight women listed on the Wall in D.C. and among the 67 women lost mentioned in a previous post.

Another interesting fact is that Beallsville, Ohio (pop. 475) gained unwanted national attention between 1966 and 1971 by having suffered the largest per-capita loss of life in the Vietnam War. Six young men lost their lives in the war, a terrible and profound loss for this small town.

If you would like to know more about Patriot Guard, a group of vets who protect soldiers funerals from protesters, go here;

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


This site, in Clinton, Ohio, is quite serene and beautiful. It includes a number of different components that demonstrate the feelings and dedication of Ohio's residents for the 3095 of their fellow citizens lost to the war.

The memorial wall itself is the largest freestanding memorial in the country. It is 125 feet long and 72 inches high and unlike the Wall in D.C., after which it is fashioned, it has no earthen or other means of support.

Surrounding the black granite wall are benches provided by a large number of Ohio's towns, businesses, and community groups. These are in addition to the markers that nearly surround the site. these are from groups like Vietnam Veterans of America and Patriot Guard. I thought the last picture "Freedom is not free" was particularly moving when one sees the reflection of all the names in the dark, polished, stone.

The second picture is the initial view of the wall and the Gold Star Mother holding the folded flag. The flag, by the way, is fabric not stone and the site caretakers checks regularly to ensure that it is in good condition or need of replacement.

The next picture is the reverse side of the wall which tells in pictures and text the history of U.S. involvement in warfare.

I think the other pictures are self explanatory.

The park is located at;

8005 Cleveland-Massillion Road
Clinton, Ohio 44216

You can find more information, buy a brick or a bench, or simply make a much needed donation to the upkeep and maintenance of this exceptional site here;

While at the online site, be sure to take a minute to watch the brief film about the park. It contains many more details about the history of and future plans for the completion of the memorial.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pennsylvania X

This small memorial was found in Zelienople, Pa. It sits with a few others on a corner as you enter the town on Rte 68 from Beaver. As we have found in so many other places, the locals did not seem aware of the location. All were friendly and tried to be helpful, but just did not know where we should look. We stumbled upon it as we were deciding to move on to a new location.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pennsylvania IX

This site is in Beaver, Pa, just north east of Pittsburgh. It is located in Quay Park and as you can see is quite extensive. Again, I am in awe of what small towns do for their own.

This is the second site I have found with the bracelets, worn by so many, prominently featured. The site is dedicated to the 73 fallen/MIA and those who have since died of other complications.

I noticed, while there, the absence of a POW flag. This was a first! Then, however, I noticed that across the street, at a WWII memorial, the flag was displayed along with the U.S. flag. The universality of the POW flag is gaining every day, it seems. I in no way begrudge this acceptance of, what I consider, a Vietnam icon. It is estimated that there are still 188,000 MIAs from all of America's involvements, so it is certainly fitting that this iconic symbol speak to, and for, us all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pennsylvania VIII

This inspiring tribute to 8 lost in Vietnam is located on the south side of Pittsburgh. It may be found at the corner of E. Carson and 18th street. The day I was there, the Pittsburgh marathon had just run through this neighborhood and the monument was partially covered in purple and white balloons which were on a stanchion of some kind. While it was an interesting site, I was somewhat conflicted about the message they might send, I felt it better to move them out of the way long enough to take the pictures.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pennsylvania VII

This is a beautiful site located in the courtyard of the Pittsburgh Family Court building (the old Allegheny County Jail) located on Ross Street. When we first arrived, on Sunday, we were surprised to find that the area was locked even though it is accessible from the street. A guard told us that it is only open during normal business hours, so we returned on Monday. It was well worth the trip. As you can see the site is a little bit unusual, but even more so is the fact that there is so much information available about it! Every detail of the site has been thought through and made available. You have heard me whine, before, about how difficult it is, all too frequently, to get any information at all about sites. So, to find so much, here, is a pleasure.

The following is taken directly from the website; (

Black Granite symbolizes the stone to memorialize the fallen American Soldiers of the Vietnam War. The 4 and 00 (double zero's equals infinity) and the 1 (implies one) 2 (too many) with the crying rose represents 412 soldiers. The double zero's represents infinity and the continuation of the fallen and in war there is always one more, and one more. The black iron represents the city of Pittsburgh that was founded and built by the Mothers and Fathers of iron and steel. The triangle represents the three rivers. The three small triangles represent the folded flag and the three-corner hat of our founding fathers who fought and died for the principles of freedom. The twelve bolts that secure the black granite represents the twelve months of the year, which our soldiers served in Vietnam.

The five bolts on each side of the triangles represents the sum of the ten year war in Vietnam as well as the number ten found in the Bible.
The thirteen-foot black granite tablets represents the thirteen original colonies as well as the height of the triangle. The symbol on the back that secures the black granite is in the shape of the peace sign, which was often drawn on the Vietnam soldier's helmet. The black and gold flagpoles represent the beloved colors of Pittsburgh. The height of the crying rose to the tablets with the names was strategically placed so that all those that read the names must bow their head and in sad memory their heads will turn to and fro to sorrow. The black granite memorial was born from a long war, the death of LCPL William Joseph Wagner, Jr. and from a poem titled, The Wall. The Black Granite Vietnam War Memorial was carefully thought out and constructed by many volunteers with the memory. Not so long ago... Vietnam

I think this says it all for this site.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pennsylvania VI

This small marker is located in Bird Park which is within walking distance of my cousins in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. It is the kind of home town, very personal, site that one might never find without the help of people who live near them. I have read that there may be over two thousand Vietnam memorials throughout this country and I expect that a large portion of these are like this one, small, personal and nearly unknown, except to those in the immediate area.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pennsylvania V con't.

These show an additional view of the memorial framed by the two flags, the soldier hurrying to meet his Mother, another POW marker and the word peace in Vietnamese and English.

This beautiful setting along the north shore of the Allegheny River was dedicated the first time on November 11, 1987 and then rededicated after the completion of the Riverside Park on June 23, 2002