Sunday, May 12, 2013


Monuments abound in this great park in Lincoln! By my count there are 25. None of these would even exist without Vietnam.

The Traveling Wall visited Lincoln in 1989 and 80,000 people visited. As so often happens, once it was gone the people wanted to build something permanent. Conversations and planning began and then with the recent success in the first Gulf War, the idea really took hold. The result is the Veteran's Memorial Garden, home to the Vietnam Memorial and many other memorials now located in Antelope Park.

 The memorial to Vietnam vets recalls The Wall in D. C. Black granite panels inscribed with the 405 names of Nebraska's lost. These are flanked by bricks with the names of those who contributed to the project and those being honored by family and friends on the right and on the left, POW/MIAs.

The memorial sits in esteemed company. There are memorials here to many others, including some you don't always see. Some of these are to Military Women, Black Soldiers, K-9, Ex-POWs, and China, Burma and India to name just a few. There is also one I have never encountered. It is called Silent Death and reminds us that many soldiers (and their families) are victims of life long injury, suffering and often death due to our technological weapons of war. Agent Orange, for example, is now linked directly to Diabetes, Parkinson's and over 40 kinds of Cancer and only the Deity knows how many suffer from PTSD or other emotional or mental traumas! It suggests, to me at least, that perhaps we need to gravely consider decisions that lead to war.

These last two photos are of an essay written to The Wall and those whose names are forever upon it. If you enlarge the picture it is worth a read and quite touching. It is dedicated to all who served and those who fell and asks that their sacrifice be the last and somehow to be made "worth it."

It has been said that all too often those who will not fight make decisions that give others no choice. I have been all over the page on the "Draft" in my life. Against it, for it, but now I think that there is an argument for universal service. Watching our young men and women serve several tours in war torn areas is just not right. It is not a new idea but maybe bears repeating that if the sons and daughters of of those who make these momentous decisions were among those at risk, maybe, just maybe, different ways of dealing with others might emerge!

Next time, on the 17th,  we will visit a a few of the other memorials in this beautiful park. Join me as always at 9:00am!

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