Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I think it is time to move on from New Hampshire. I have some more photos from there and will post them at a later time.

Kate Wolf used to sing about the golden rolling hills of California and I have traveled through many of them. If I were to write only about California until I had posted every where I have gone, I would be on the subject for months! I have been as far north as Grass Valley (I hope to get further up in the state but it has not happened as of yet) and down to the Mexican border. I have gone as far east as Chirico Summit and Nevada City and west to Coronado. So, I will limit how many I post at this time, but will return from time to time to fill in the missed places.

As always, I will begin with the official state memorial. Located on the Capitol grounds, at 15th and Capitol ave. in Sacramento it is one of the most interesting I have visited. It tells a story. A story of a day in a life of a soldier in 'Nam.

The memorial is made up of a number of components and I expect it will take three postings to tell its story.

Today, a few of the basics.

The first picture is of the memorial, note the panels that are inscribed with the 5822 names of those lost or missing. Each of these is listed in a grouping from his/her home town along with their rank and branch of service. A number of benches are placed around the outside for quiet reflection.

The second picture is of a 19 year old soldier reading a letter from home. Those who were there remember that there was no time of day more anticipated than mail call and the joy of hearing from someone back in the world, and the disappointment of not!

Picture three was taken during a night visit to the site. I think it is especially compelling as some unknown visitor has inserted a photograph into the soldiers letter. One must imagine that the person who left it suffered great loss during the war. If not 'Nam, perhaps another!

Picture 4 is part of the dedication marker more of which I will post later.

Picture 5 is a tribute to Brien Collins who lost an arm and a leg during his second tour of 'Nam. He went on to serve in government for three governors and as an Assemblyman. He was a driving force in the building of this memorial and is quoted as saying;

Is the world a better place because you were here?
Did you make a difference?

He seems to me to be a man to remind us of our fortune and abilities and of what can be accomplished if we choose to make it happen.

More, next time, on this magnificent site.

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