Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Arizona V

 In downtown Tucson is an area called El Presidio and located on its plaza is this memorial to those who were lost in Vietnam. I have visited this site many time s and am always amazed at how difficult it is to photograph. Like so many memorials it is designed to be reflective, to draw you in as part of it, to see oneself among the names. This is a very effective means to make us think about the war, the loss and in many ways, our values.

These purposes are always achieved, at least for me, but they also make it hard to photograph. I have been here early, late, mid-day, whenever, and there is always a glare or it is too dark to do the site justice as it sits in the shade of surrounding trees.

So, here are a few shots to give you the feeling of the place. I will return here sometime soon and maybe that will be the time I get the perfect shot or maybe it is not possible to get the perfect shot of an imperfect war.

Located at 160 W. Alameda St. it honors the 616 from the Tucson area who were lost.

Next time, on the 29th, we will revisit California, home to many memorials. Join me there at 9:00am.

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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Alabama IV

Located in Hamilton, the Marion County Veterans Memorial honors those from several wars throughout history. Our comrades from Vietnam are not neglected.

 An eternal flame burns, forever, in memory.

Just outside the court house on a corner of Bexar Ave. W. and Military Street S. stands the stone, cairn like structure and 12 from the area are honored and remembered. Note that, as so often happens, names have been added at the bottom.

As so often is the case I have a little luck locating much information about this site and, as always, if you know anything I would love to hear it. You can contact me at the email on the left of the page.

Tucson, Arizona is the next stop. Right in the middle of town, at the Presidio, is the memorial to all those from  the area who served or were lost. Join me on the 24th at 9:00 am to visit this site.

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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Florida VII

If you have been following this journey of mine for any time at all, I imagine you might understand that every so often, just by chance, something occurs that is so emotional and moving that it screams to be shared. Just such an incident happen on my recent visit to Florida.

I visited a memorial in Ft. Myers. It had been raining all morning and I really didn't expect to be able to take any good pictures, but as we arrived the rain stopped. Kismet, I thought and hurried to visit the site before the rain kicked in once again, which it did shortly thereafter.

The memorial consists of three, side by side, "walls" listing those from the five counties surrounding the site. Very nice, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I read the names and took a a number of shots of the site, but then as I started to leave, I noticed something.

In front of the three walls is a Field Cross and, as you know, these are often seen. This one, however, was different. Attached to it was a typed note, you can see that in the photos, but what was different was how it was attached. It took a minute for the realization to hit me and it struck like a thunderbolt. Here was some vet honoring those who were lost on this particular day so long ago. All these years later, he went out of his way to come here, to this site in Ft. Myers, and once more honor his buddies. He attached the paper to the rifle in the Field Cross with the mechanical hand from his artificial limb!

I was dumbfounded. This was something I have never seen. It is not unusual to visit a site and find something, a memento, a picture, a flower, or something, left by a loved one, but this was unique.

A little later, I realized that the paper had been dry. It had been raining all morning and ceased just as we arrived, so I must have missed this guy by just minutes. At first I was disappointed, I would have loved to welcome him home and hear his story, but now after a few days I think that this was a very private moment for him and I am glad I did not intrude.

This memorial is located on the corner of Colonial blvd. and McGregor Blvd. in ft. Myers.

Next time, on the 24th, return with me to Alabama.

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wyoming II

This memorial originally honored 5 University alumni, that number grew to 17 when I was there. It was recently refurbished and rededicated. The front has been replaced with a new larger plaque that lists 132 names of those lost from Wyoming.

Top detail

A Veterans Service Center has been established, on campus, so that no returning vet today will have the same difficulties returning Vietnam vets encountered

 A nearby bench offers a respite from the day and invites quiet contemplation and remembrance.

Found on the southwest corner of the campus, at 9th and Ivinson streets it is now the site of annual Welcome Home ceremonies.

Next time,on April 19, meet me in Florida at 9:00am.

To see other memorials from Wyoming, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wisconsin XI

Due west of Milwaukee, about 27 miles, is the city of Delafield, Wisconsin. What I found there was quite remarkable.

The city has built a River Walk that is the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial. As you walk along the site you come upon many placards telling the history of a particular war. The 10 sites begin with the American Revolution and continue through the Global War On terror.

Some have pavers with dedicated names upon them and others have flags or other tributes.

The walk parallels the Bark River and to follow the sites in chronological order you should begin at the St. John's Park entrance where there is a small parking area.

There are a number of these personal pavers at this site.

Next time, we will travel, once again, to Wyoming, so join me, as usual,at 9:00am on the 14th of April.

To see other memorials from Wisconsin, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Virginia VII

I returned to the Marine Museum in Triangle, Virginia to explore the numerous monuments they have along the beautiful walkway.

Note the name places along the lower side.

Nearly all of the monuments are dedicated to one unit or another, but this one stuck me as a bit unusual. Nowhere on it does the word Vietnam ever appear. All of the noted losses are from the era, but if you didn't recognize some of the places named along each side, you might never know.

All of the losses recorded here are from 1967-1969

More name places on this side, too.

Many are listed on tribute bricks surrounding the site.

Located near the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia, the site is easily seen from the road and is well marked off route 95, south of Washington, D.C.

I will post other monuments from this incredible site in future posts.

Next time, we will return to Wisconsin, so join me there as always at 9:00am on the 10th of April.

To see other sites from Virginia, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.