Tuesday, November 29, 2011

California IV

I think that for we of the Vietnam generation, Salinas, California is imbedded in our collective memory forever. Probably due to Janis Joplin's hit of Me and Bobby McGee; "Somewhere near Salinas, Lord, I let her slip away, looking for that home, and I hope she finds it" A song that speaks to loneliness and isolation that just might touch a nerve in a soldier thousands of miles from family and loved ones.

When I discovered that I was only 45 minutes from Salinas, I decided to stop by to see what they might have and was amazed to find this remarkable site.

It is the only one I have seen, out of several hundred so far, that has as its main component a sandbag wall. As familiar as this would be to any 'Nam vet, it just doesn't turn up too often and this is by far the largest one I have seen. This flag lined wall is fronted by a Vietnam Service Ribbon, and has a huge Flag Wall with names of local heroes inscribed upon it sitting just behind it. In addition, school children have made and placed ceramic mosaic tiles with various sentiments upon them. This, too, I think is unique. I have not seen many other sites where children have been highly involved. The only other one I can think of right off hand is the previously posted Connecticut memorial.

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