Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wisconxin IX

The town of Sparta Wisconsin offers this simple, yet elegant tribute. In a small park located at W. Montgomery Street and N. Spring St, amid the play equipment and other older memorials stands this one. I especially like the engraving of the helmet with "short" inked in on the band. How many of us did that? Next, it is on to my final stop in Wisconsin; the state capitol in Madison, then back to Milwaukee and home.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wisconsin X

In Delafield, I came across this beautiful memorial park. It is dedicated to all who served and is a reminder to all of the sacrifices made by vets of all generations.

You can enter the site from a couple of different entrances. I happened to park at the Post Office and entered at the first marker. There is, however, what appears to be a main entrance that is marked with the sign and pavers shown below. I did not discover this entrance until on my way back through the park. From it you can go in either direction to visit specific spots.

There are a number of markers along the walk and the ones show here are for Vietnam. The pavers honor and memorialize specific fallen heroes. If you would like to do so, contact the site here;

The park is located at;

400 Main Street
Delafield, WI 53018

You can find some of the original plans for the Vietnam site here;

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran's Day

The Senate has declared that March 30th will be Vietnam Veteran's Welcome Home Day. Below is a copy of the resolution. In addition, Montgomery County, Maryland (for all you local readers) is having a Welcome Home activity at the new Veteran's Plaza in Silver Spring. I have enclosed a URL at the bottom of the page with more information on this local event and some pictures I took at the plaza recently. They had a display of Native American patriotic art the day I was there.

"Washington D.C - The U.S. Senate on March 8 declared March 30th
as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day," agreeing unanimously to a
resolution introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member
of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

On March 30, 1973, all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam under
the terms of the Treaty of Paris. This March 30th, the Senate has
encouraged Americans across the country to recognize Vietnam veterans
for their sacrifice and demonstrate a warm welcome to these soldiers who
returned from war to a politically divided country.

"I'm pleased that the Senate has agreed to set aside a day to
give our Vietnam veterans a warm, long-overdue welcome home. I strongly
encourage communities throughout North Carolina and across the country
to observe this day with activities and events that honor these veterans
for their service. It's time they receive the recognition they have
earned and deserve. This day also provides our nation with an important
teaching moment. Never again should our men and women serving in the
armed forces receive the same treatment as those returning from
Vietnam," said Senator Richard Burr.

Senator Burr introduced the resolution for the second consecutive year on February 16, 2011

The United States became involved in Vietnam because
policy-makers believed that if South Vietnam fell to a communist
government, communism would spread throughout the rest of Southeast
Asia. The US Armed Forces began serving in an advisory role to the South
Vietnamese in 1961, and in 1965, ground combat troops were sent into
Vietnam. On March 30, 1973, after many years of combat, all US troops
withdrew. More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces
lost their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded in Vietnam."

Here is the URL to the Montgomery County Maryland event;

The Veteran's plaza is located on the corner of Ellsworth and Fenton Streets in downtown Silver Spring. As the flier says, "the more the merrier"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wisconsin VIII

As I drove out of Sheboygan, I happened across this all vets memorial. I thought it was quite beautiful and a little different so, I took a few shots of it.

It has a number of "Walls" with names of the lost, from various wars, etched upon them. I was there not long after Memorial Day and was pleased to find the roses placed at the markers. Each rose was dedicated to a specific individual. I was touched by that.

The back of the large wall, with the name of the site on it, is covered with names of those who served in our nation's conflicts, while only those who were lost are listed on the smaller black walls.

I have been unable to find much info on the site so, I will ask you all again. If you know anything, please contact meat

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wisconsin VIII

While driving through Wisconsin, I came upon a most unusual site.

Many still are unaware of the Secret War fought by the U.S. and her allies during what is called the Vietnam conflict. In an effort to stem the tide of soldiers, supplies and what have you through other, neighboring countries, the U. S waged war in them. This was denied for many years and the efforts of the people of these countries is little recognized, even today.

Among the most valiant of our allies were the Lao and Hmong peoples of Laos. Thousands of these refugees came to America following the war. They settled in Wisconsin (and Minnesota) in great numbers.

Sheboygan was one of the first to welcome them and after a time it was decided to build a memorial to those who perished in this Secret War. Thousands and thousands of Hmong fighters were lost and as their population was estimated to be only around 250,000 total, these were terrible losses to the people.

The site of this beautiful and unique site is Deland Park, on the shores of the Lake Michigan in Sheboygan. It consists of a circular wall that on the inside lists the names of the members of the Secret Guerrilla Units (SGU's) and panels that tell the story of this noble effort. The outside consists of a number of mosaic panels which as far as I can tell are representative of the fine needlework that the Hmong are famous for, that tell their story in a more traditional way. The pattern in the center of the memorial was added later and is based upon these same art works.

You can see the official site for more information, here;

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wisconsin VII

Here are a few more pics from this marvelous site. In addition to these the site honors Korean War, WWII, the Iraqi and Afghanistan vets and others. There is also a replica of the Liberty Bell which is often rung for those remembered or as part of ceremonies.

The pics are of the sunset on the native American Memorial I wrote about earlier.

The sculpture is seven Peace Doves (recalling those released at the funeral of a fallen hero) rising from the Meditation Garden and is one of several "rooms" that one may visit and reflect. These include a "Family room, a place for prayer, a fountain of tears and a picnic shelter."

The final pic from The Highground is of the Wisconsin map created by the donations from every county in the state.

There is, also, a new education center that has a variety of programs that rotate through. Currently, there is an exhibit of photos taken by Robert Ellison a civilian photog killed in"Nam when the plane he was riding on with a group of 49 Marines crashed after receiving ground fire; all were lost.

I hope that you all will someday have the opportunity to visit this exceptional place of peace, love and remembrance. I promise you will not regret it.

Once again, here is their contact info.

The Highground
W7031 Ridge road
Neillsville, WI 54456

Or their website

There are many ways in which any individual can help support this most noble and worthy place.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wisconsin VI

Another of the very first sites I ever saw was in Milwaukee. It was at least 20 years ago and those pictures are long since lost. Too bad, because the present site is not just as I remember and I wonder if it has grown or if my memory just isn't accurate?

Anyway, the site here, The Southeastern Wisconsin Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, sits right on the lake and is in a Veteran's Park. It is dedicated to the 1241 who were lost and the site is well marked. It consists of three Wausau Red Granite columns. There are 22, 26, and 30 feet tall and represent the fallen, POW/MIA's and those who made it back. Each of the five surrounding benches represents one of the services and the eleven granite posts are for the recognized span of the war.

There is an inner circle of bricks that are reserved for 'Nam vets and an outer circle which may be dedicated to those of other conflicts or anyone who would like to show respect and support. In addition, there are markers for Medal of Honor awardees and those who were POW/MIA. The MIA bricks are marked with a star if and when the remains are ever recovered.

For additional info about how to dedicate a brick, go here;

I, also, found this interesting video from just this past May, about the memorial and vets efforts to ensure that it remains inviting and respectful.