Friday, July 30, 2010


The Maine Vietnam Memorial is located directly across the street from the Maine Capitol building, in Capitol Park, in Augusta. the park is bounded on two sides by State Street and Capitol street. It can be accessed from very nearby parking on Capitol.

It has a couple of unique features. The most obvious is the style of the sculpture which is called a statue in reverse. It creates different shadows and images depending upon the weather and the time of day. So, one might well see something very different during different visits to this beautiful spot. It is, also, meant to invite the visitor to walk through the site and in some way become part of it.

Another interesting thing is that the dedication plaque says that the site is dedicated to those who served and to those "touched by the war" The memorial does not list the names of the 343 valiant citizens who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ohio VII

One final stop in Ohio. We found ourselves in Rio Grande, Ohio, the home of Bob Evan's! Yes, there really is such a place, so we felt obligated to stop. After a few pics of the Homestead (it looks just like you see in the advertising) we decided we should go in to eat.

While inside we saw a guy who seemed to fit our profile of the Vietnam vet (our age, long hair, beard, biker gear) so I asked him if there was a local site? He directed us to a town 10 miles or so away. He was very interested in our journey and tried to be as helpful as he could. (It turns out he missed the war by a year or two) A few minutes later, a young woman from another table came over and said, "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation and I wanted to help you find the site," she spent several minutes making sure we knew just where to go. What amazing, friendly folks. Thank you all!

The site, like so many we find, is a war memorial in a small park. Sitting along a river, in Gallipolis, Oh., it commemorates all the local citizens contributions to our history. Guarded by a dough boy from WWI, the names of far too many are listed on the various panels.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ohio VI

This memorial in Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in Dayton, Ohio is called a living memorial. The dedication plaque says that you will find no "... war torn soldiers with pointed weapons... the Vietnam veteran... remind America of the dream of peace and serenity."

This site was difficult to photograph in a way that would do it justice. Everything is flat in the memorial itself. It is a circular stone walk with the lost sons and daughter listed by county.

Other interesting parts of the site are the American Red Oak (state tree of Ohio) marking the POW/MIA site and the crypt containing mementos from the era.

The exact location of the park, also called the Miami Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial is;

S. Patterson Blvd. and W. Stewart St., Dayton, OH, 45409

intersection of S. Patterson Blvd. and W. Stewart St., just north of the Stewart Street Bridge

Friday, July 16, 2010

Caring for The Wall

I was contacted, after the story in the Washington Post, by Bill Gray of the local Vietnam Veterans of America. He and a group of other vets care for The Wall in D. C. Once a month they gather early on a Saturday morning and clean the Wall, The Three Soldiers statue, and The Womens' Memorial. They often hold a small, respectful ceremony and are sometimes aided by a group of Civil Air Patrol Cadets.

This noble and worthy work was featured on the Today Show and you may find the story here;


Each of these takes you to a different feature of the story.

Bill and his friends are always looking for help, so if you would like to lend a hand, they meet at the wall on the first Saturday of every month, April through November at 6:30 a.m.

Here is a quote form Bill's note to me.

"...our Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 641, Silver Spring, Md. washes The Wall on the first Saturday of each month--April through November, at 6:30. Please join us, one morning you are willing to get up at zero-dark-thirty. We are finished by 0800. Its a great way to start the day."

As I will be out on photo shoots in July and August, I will try to attend in September. In the meantime, If you can help, just show up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ohio V

We found this site in Union Township in Clermont County, Ohio. It is located at the corner of Clough Pike and Este-Withamsville Rd, south east of Cincinnati.

Located in a community park, this site does it all. In addition to the chopper, there are markers for those who have died as a result of Agent Orange (Silver Rose) womens' service, dogs and as shown in one shot, Gold Star Mothers. The guys in the picture, who were not old enough to have even been born during Vietnam, were working hard to get the memorial completed before Memorial Day which was coming up shortly after our visit. They were very respectful and took pride in their efforts.

I was not familiar with The Silver Rose before finding it here. It is an interesting program and effort on behalf of vets and families who have suffered from or been affected by Agent Orange. This, as I have stated before, is a growing problem possibly having terrible outcomes for nearly anyone who served in-country, their families, and their children..

You can find their site here;

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ohio IV

Thirty Three of Medina County, Ohio's sons lost their lives serving in Vietnam. The number 3, or multiples of it, plays a major role in the thinking regarding the planning of this site. The main stone is 3 sided (33"x33"x33"x72"), the base stone is 3 sided (45"x45"x45"x12"), there are three benches provided, 3 marker/flag groupings and 3 sets of evergreens that are 33" tall.

The black granite, that was quarried in the U.S., was chosen to echo that used in D.C. This site sits on land shared by the local Veterans Services Office. The people in the office were very kind in getting me information about this site.

There is no front or back so that no "...veteran or group...would be slighted" and all services have had their insignias included.

The picture with the squares lists the number lost from individual towns or cities.
Note that along the base of the memorial, each of the 33 are listed in chronological order of their loss. Only their initials are used to identify these lost heroes.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independance Day, Wall Information

Rather than single out a specific memorial today, I thought it might be a good idea to reflect on what has been the cost of our way of life. Since this site is dedicated to the Vietnam veteran, I will confine myself to them today.

I found an interesting site the other day. It is part of the Virtual Wall project and is loaded with fascinating facts regarding the Wall and those upon it.

Below are just a few examples of what I found.

The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999. Note that I have found NO site that includes 1956 as one of the years of the war. It is a fact that the first Americans were sent to Vietnam in 1955, but as you may have read on this site in the past, there are many different interpretations of how long we were involved in Vietnam.

The youngest person listed on the Wall is 15 years old, the oldest was 67.

There are 22 different countries represented.

There are 120 non US citizens.

Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia sustained the largest number of Vietnam war casualties of any high school in the nation with 54.

Corporal Thomas W. Bennett of Morgantown, West Virginia was a U.S. Army medic and was the only conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam war. He was killed in action on February 11, 1969.

West Virgina had the highest per capita losses in the war

In Memory Day Since the war in Vietnam came to an end, there has been a growing sense among many veterans and their families that those who served in this nation's longest war have suffered and are continuing to suffer premature deaths related to their service. These deaths have been attributed to exposure to Agent Orange, post- traumatic stress disorder, and a growing list of other causes. (AO is now recognized as the cause of Diabetes and currently 21 different types of Cancer)

I was recently contacted by Sharon Perry who runs an Agent Orange related organization. They are lobbying for a memorial to be built to remember all those who have died from or are suffering from the devastating effects of AO. If you are interested in more information, check here;

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's In Memory Day program honors those who died as a result of the Vietnam War, but whose deaths do not fit the Department of Defense criteria for inclusion upon the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Every year there is a ceremony to pay tribute to these men and women who sacrificed so much for their country. The ceremony is held on the third Monday in April — In Memory Day.

To learn more, visit the In Memory Program website.

Go here, for more information about the virtual wall and the statistics I used above;

Have a glorious 4th of July, but take just a minute to remember what our freedom and Independence have cost.