Friday, September 27, 2013

Connecticut IV

The students at Nathan Hale Middle School in Coventry, CT. do not only honor Vietnam veterans, but all vets.

Throughout the building one is ever reminded of the service of our vets and the debt and honor we owe them.
The school auditorium

A veteran's quilt made by the students

Detail. Vietnam is heavily represented but by no means alone on the quilt
As I wandered the halls with Jean, I couldn't quite help but be reminded that we do not, yet, teach too much about Vietnam. I get that: it takes time and reflection to sort out truth from fiction, fact from hyperbole and to determine outcomes, but here is a school that has exceeded anyone's expectations for what can be done. They are not trying to teach, or revise, history so much as instill within their students an understanding of service, sacrifice,and honor. Good job, Nathan Hale!

Next time, October 2nd, we will visit Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Join me at the beach at 9:00am!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Connecticut III

Previously I wrote about the fantastic project undertaken by students at Nathan Hale Middle School in Coventry, Ct. You can find those posts by clicking on Connecticut to the left side of this site. If you have not seen them, they are worth your time and tell quite a story. While learning about their efforts I was blessed to meet one of the principals behind the Connecticut Vietnam memorial, Jean Risely. I returned to Connecticut and met Jean who took me to Nathan Hale to show me some of the other fantastic things the school has done.

Jean explained that the original teacher behind the project was no longer there, but that the legacy of his work, Vietnam vets and, in truth, all vets will be forever remembered in the halls and hearts
of this school, its students and staff.

At one time, before the building of the Connecticut Vietnam memorial this map, painted by students, was the only place in the state that listed all 612 names of the lost or missing.

 The names are listed by year, alphabetically. They begin in 1961 and end in 1979.


In addition, to the Connecticut remembrance the students also painted a memorial map honoring all who were lost in 'Nam.

This map lists the numbers from each state, as they were then known. Interestingly it includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Samoa. Beyond that it includes something I have never seen before: Nova Scotia and lists 1 as lost. Why this one person from Canada was included is a mystery to me.

Next time, on the 27th, I will post a few more interesting efforts from the students at this remarkable school. Join me then, as always, at 9:00am.

To see other posts from Connecticut, or any other state, click on the states name from the list on the left side of this page.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Massachusetts II

I was planning to write about the memorial in Springfield, Ma, but I  made a new contact in Springfield, today, who has promised to send me additional material on the site. So, until that arrives, I will write, instead, about a memorial in West Springfield, just minutes away. Located in the Town  Commons area, this and other memorials were added in 2008. It stands nearby a 9-11 memorial dedicated to all but especially to a local resident who died on that fateful day.

The Vietnam memorial is dedicated to all who served and commemorates the lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. There are five names listed upon the monument and another is honored on a separate stone laid at the base of the original, obviously at a later date.

The names are a little difficult to read due to the glare. They are:

Joel H. Chapin
Richard N. Gauthier
Daniel L. Grover
Raymond G. Masse
Alan L. Matte

And upon the single stone:

Henry H. Herrin Jr.

Next time, on the 22nd, join me to visit a school in Connecticut that pays tribute to those who were lost, from Connecticut and all states, on its walls. As always, at 9:00am

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Colorado XII

As one approaches this site in Longmont, all that is visible are the two flags, alone on a pole. As you enter the are and begin to follow the path you discover a unique memorial. It is not the flags or the markers but the whole Park. It is called the Jim Hamm Nature Area and is dedicated to Jim Hamm and all the others from the area, seven in total.


The land was donated by the Hamm family in memory of their son who went missing in march of 1968. This strikes a chord in me as I was in country at this time.


The plaque has become difficult to read but it welcomes all to enjoy the nature area and dedicated it to all from the St. Vrain Valley who served in Vietnam.

Originally the park was smaller but as been consistently improved and upgraded and as recently as 2011 an additional name, initially omitted, was added through the efforts of some local vets and a private donation. Now all were lost are given their due!

This new plaque includes the name of the recently added soldier: Larry George Trevarton

The lake is 17 acres and is periodically drained to improve its ability to thrive and maintain sufficient depth for the enjoyment of the people of Longmont. It was completely drained as recently as November of 2012. I read a report that it was open for business by June of 2013. An interesting aside is that the mud removed by the dredging is being used to add a berm in the park on which trees will be planted.

Jim Hamm was a lover of nature and explored this area extensively as a child. I cannot help but think that he would be overjoyed to see this area preserved, improved, and dedicated to his lost brothers from the St. Vrain Valley.

The Jim Hamm Nature Area is located at 1701 E. County Line Rd, near the intersection with E. 17th Avenue.

Next time, join me in Springfield, Mass. See you at 9:00am on the 17th of September.

To see other posts from Colorado, or any other state, just click on the state name to the left.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11, 2013

I was riding along in the car the other day with my sister. We commented on what a beautiful September day it was. Temp in the 70's, crystal clear, blue sky, just fantastic. Then we both remembered! This is exactly the same as September 11, 2001. Those of us of a certain age will  always remember where we were on the day President Kennedy was assassinated, or the day man landed on the moon, these days are forever seared into our consciousness. And, September 11 will always be there, too. I wonder if September will ever be "normal" again?

As I have traveled the country to visit Vietnam memorials, I have collected 9-11 memorials, too. In several of the last few years I have posted them here and I plan to make this an annual remembrance. To see other posts, just type September 11 into the search box at the top left.

This year's is from Gilbert, Arizona, just a little south of Phoenix.


An eight foot section of the Trade Center structure is the centerpiece of this memorial.

Names are listed upon the surrounding "Walls", listed by flight number, the Pentagon, or the World Trade Center

On this particular day, several small flags had been left by visitors.

Regular posts will resume on the 12th, as promised. Check in at 9:00am to visit Longmont, Colorado.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

California IX

In front of the Kern County Court House, in Bakersfield, is a memorial to the more than 14,000 from the area who served and the 143 who paid the ultimate price.

Located on the corner of Chester and Truxtun Avenues it invokes flight and is, in fact, called, "Wind beneath my wings" I cannot recall any other memorials with its own name! There are 138 listed on the front of the memorial and then the additional 8 were added to the reverse.

Reverse of memorial

These eight were added at a later time

Next time, on the 12th, we visit Longmont, Colorado for a slightly unusual memorial. Join me, as always, at 9:00am.

To see all posts from California, or any other state, click on the states name on the left side of this page.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Arizona IV

 On one of many trips to Arizona, I was able to visit this memorial in Gilbert. It honors many from various wars but Vietnam is well represented. In addition to this memorial there is also a 9-11 memorial consisting of walls with names and an 8ft. piece of the World Trade Center.

Names are listed in two places here. There is a group on the central monument and also a group on the nearby, freestanding "Wall" No one at the museum could explain this to me and I have recently been in touch with the VFW that placed it. I am awaiting additional information from them and I will update here if I learn anything new.

 Individual tributes are placed at eh base and around the plaza area.

This memorial is located on the corner of S. Gilbert Rd and W. Elliot Rd on the grounds of the Gilbert Historical Museum.

Next time, on the 7th, join me in Bakersfield, California to honor a really nice memorial. As always, at 9:00am!

To see all posts from Arizona, or any other state, click on the states name on the left side of this page.