Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Jersey V

I have spent a lot of time driving around New Jersey. It is not that far from where I live and is where much of my family came from, so it is always good to go there.

The memorial I am posting today is one of several that sit along White Horse Pike (rte. 30.) The Vietnam memorial among the others says Borough of Berlin and I have been unable to determine the difference between the borough and the town of the same name. Perhaps a reader will be able to help!

Near Taunton Ave. on the White Horse Pike is this really beautiful little memorial area. It contains remembrances to WWI and II, Korea, and 'Nam.

Off to the right in the first picture stands this tribute to those who served in 'Nam. There are no names listed.

My reading has turned up one name from Berlin, NJ, but as I said, I cannot tell if this is actually the same place. I have two other small memorials from places in the state called Berlin, so I am actually a bit confused.

You can see from the inscription that this was dedicated in 1983 and I read today, that the VFW in the area is seeking names of those who served from the "Boro" to be added to a plaque at "The War Memorial" but calls to that VFW were not answered. If I learn more, I will certainly update you here.

From here, we will return to New Mexico, from which I have just returned. So, join me on the 2nd of September, as always at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

New Hampshire IX

Some days you just cannot predict what will happen. I was in Nashua, New Hampshire on one of my very first trips to find Vietnam memorials. I was truly flying by the seat of my pants as to how to do this. Unable to find the memorial I was looking for, I walked into City Hall and into the Mayor's office. Needless to say, I didn't get to see the Mayor, but I did get to meet his Administrative Assistant and boy was that lucky!

She not only went well out of her way to help me locate the memorial, she also hooked me up with one of the guys responsible for it. I talked with him at some length and he told me that the original memorial had been built down by a creek and was eventually pretty much forgotten about. After trying unsuccessfully to get it cared for, he and a couple of other vets took it upon themselves to change things and the current site is the result. Thank you to each of these kind folks who helped me get started on this journey and for honoring those nearly forgotten heroes.

To make a long story at little shorter, the memorial was eventually moved to it's current location and a new was was added at the same spot.

The park is now The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park and is home to Cal Ripkin Baseball as well as the memorials.

The original, smaller memorial was moved to this new location.

Plaque detail

The newer memorial, added in 2008, lists the names of all 18 from the Nashua area who were lost.

So, the journey has continued, and grown, to where we are today. I have visited every state at least once, some many more, and have visited somewhere around 500 memorials. The journey is not over. I have leaving soon to return to Colorado, then Nevada, then Maine, Oregon, and Washington, who knows after that?

Next time, however, we will revisit New Jersey. Join me on the 28th at 9:00am.

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nebraska VI

I revisited Nebraska this summer and while doing my research I came upon an article about the dedication of a new memorial in South Sioux City. A half scale model of The Wall, it sits in what is known as Freedom Park and, like The Wall, it contains all the names of those lost, more that 58,000.

A giant flag stands watching over the park and The Wall.

As you can see from the pictures, the park is still under construction. Much more is planned including a huge interpretive center to be begun this summer.

It was interesting to me to find that, just like all the other memorials, people are already leaving tributes and mementos. I do not know if these will be collected and archived like at some others, but they are there already.

The stone for this 250 foot long remembrance came from the same quarry, in India, as the stone for the national memorial in D. C.

This is one of very few that replicate The Wall. I have seen others but they are usually "retired" traveling walls that places (Altoona, Pa, Butte, Montana and Pensacola, Fl.) have purchased when they became available. This may be the only other, built from the ground up, exact replica I have seen.

Next time, we will travel back to New Hampshire, so, join me there on the 23rd, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Montana IV

About 25 miles from Butte is the town of Anaconda. Located at the top of Main Street is the Deer Lodge County Court House. In 1926 a memorial to WW1 was built here and in 1987 an additional plaque was added to honor those who served and/or were lost in Vietnam.

Anaconda was, like so many, a mining town but is, also, famous because Lucille Ball lived there as a child.

No names are listed upon the plaque and I was surprised to find that 6 from Anaconda were lost. In 2010, the town had fewer than 10,000 people, so six seems fairly significant to me.

I visited Anaconda in October and, while you cannot tell from the pictures, it was snowing and by the time I left it was actually coming down fairly hard. Odd for a guy from the mid-Atlantic area.

Next time, on the 17th, we go back to Nebraska. I just made a trip there and found new, to me, sites and one that is so new to Nebraska that it is not yet complete. Join me at 9:00am to check it out.

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

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mississippi III

I was browsing the internet, searching for new sites, when I came upon a photo that said "Mississippi Vietnam Memorial" I knew it was not "THE" Mississippi Vietnam Memorial because I had already visited that one in Ocean Springs. Long time readers may remember that it was the one that got this project off the ground.

Additional research told me who the sculptor of the second memorial was and I called her. We had a great conversation and she explained that they had not meant "THE" Mississippi memorial but the Mississippi memorial that they had done, located in Tunica. After she filled me in on it some, she said, "When you visit it, please come to Memphis and see us, we are only 30 miles away.

So, after visiting Tunica and the memorial I drove to Memphis. I had only intended to drop in and spend a few minutes, but they were such nice people I ended up spending much of a day with them. This was interesting because they told me a lot about the sculpting process. but, the big surprise came just as I was getting ready to leave. Her husband said, "Hey, he should go meet "Charlie!" she said, "What a great idea, let me give him a call" I said, "Who is Charlie?" I couldn't believe what she said next. "Charlie is the guy who cut the names on The Wall in D.C. and he lives here in Memphis. Well. I had a great meeting with "Charlie" and perhaps I will write more about that in a later post. Now, let's get back to the Tunica, Mississippi Vietnam Memorial.

Tunica is a small town, perhaps best known, these days, for gambling and in the center of a median strip through town is the memorial.

The theme of this one, like so many others, is of buddies helping buddies. It makes me wonder why we seem to be able to do this in war time, but not so much in our every day lives.

The final two shots are of the signs located in the little plaza.

These have a little info not always seen. The breakdown of deaths and injuries is unusual and of course changes from year to year, so to see "Historical" notes is interesting. This past May, 14 more names were added to The Wall in D.C. bringing the total to 58,300. One additional name has already been designated for addition next May, I wonder if it will be the last?

Next time, on the 12th, we will return to Montana, so, as always, join me there at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Minnesota VI

Jasper, Minnesota is not very far from Sioux Falls, SD. I stopped and asked a lady in South Dakota if she knew of any Vietnam Memorials in the area. She asked if I had seen the one in Jasper, Mn? She tried to give me directions and then said, "Get in your car and follow me." She drove me to the spot and then stayed to show me around. It was not all that far away, maybe 20 minutes by car, but she didn't have to do this at all. I am constantly being reminded of how nice people can be.

 The memorial sits on N. Main Street in Jasper within the Jasper Cemetery. It, as you can see, is not specifically to Vietnam as is, so often, the case in small towns. I don't think that detracts in any way from what a great site this is.

As you can see, a number of conflicts are remembered here. For those who may not know, the white crosses are often associated with WW I: Flanders fields and "The Green Fields of France"; where so very many died.

Vietnam, like the others here, is remembered only by graphic depictions, not lists of names.

Names are listed upon the stones that make up the plaza in the front of the site. Many who served are honored here. I could not locate any names of those who may have been lost. I don't know if this means that Jasper did not lose anyone or if they simply chose to honor all who served. One of the above stones is in honor of the husband of the kind lady who brought me to this site.

An interesting side note. The lady who brought me here told me that Jasper is in Pipestone County, which is named for the soft, carve-able stone found there that Native Americans carved into pipes for smoking tobacco.

Next time, on August 7, we will make another stop in Mississippi where I was lucky enough to meet some very nice and interesting folks. Join me at 9:00am to see the pics and hear the story.

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