Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Illinois IV

Another really interesting and, so far, unique memorial is located in Havana, Ill. Havana has a memorial on the Courthouse lawn dedicated to the 5 lost from the area. I will get to that one in my next post. However, this one is something I have never seen anywhere.

Michael "Harry" Tarvin is a Vietnam vet who after his service wanted to make a memorial to all from Mason County who had served. He understood that those not commemorated on memorials, those who had survived, needed acknowledgement and recognition, too. He understood, also, that these who had suffered so much in the war and then again upon return "to the world" had paved the way for today's soldiers being greeted by applause and cheering in airports! I have often said that the "silver lining" to Vietnam is that we will never treat a vet like that again! This, as you probably know, is the founding principal of Vietnam Veterans of America; that one generation of veterans will never again abandon another.

So, he set to work. He started gathering photos of anyone who had served and who had lived in Mason County, where Havana is located, for 30 days or more. He put out the word and distributed flyers in the Havana area and there was a story in the newspaper that helped him collect the photos and stories of his comrades.

Harry owns an appliance store in Havana (H&H Appliances)and he displays the photos in one of the store fronts facing the street. The store is directly across the street from the Courthouse where the memorial to the five men lost is located. The address in 114 Plum Street.

The last photo on the right on the bottom pic is of a local Havana man who was killed in Cambodia, that place we never were!

Next time, we will visit the memorial at the Mason County Courthouse. Join me on the 27th at 9:00am.