Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pennsylvania XIII

In light of my most recent past post from Durham, North Carolina, it seems completely appropriate to post this one from Bristol Township, Pennsylvania.

War dogs, as I said in my last post, are often the forgotten, unheralded heroes of many different situations. This site, in this place, at least, ends that forever. The 19 men from the area who made the ultimate sacrifice are remembered and honored here, also, but I will write more about them at at a later time.

This site dedicated to these warrior dogs and their heroic actions and, also, recounts their, all too often, unnecessary and tragic ends.

This is a magnificent site and I am very pleased to have found it.

This site honors not only the dogs from Vietnam but, also the dogs from all wars listed on a separate marker and here notes the many roles they so faithfully and valiantly played.

Next time, on October 2nd we will return to South Carolina, so join me there, as usual, at 9:00am on the 2nd of October

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

North Carolina VII

In this, the third and final post from Durham, I want to share a few more of the details of this remarkable site.

The reverse side of the "Book" makes a number of statements and clarifications not often seen at these sites. It is obvious that much thought and devotion went in to the planning and rebuilding of this monument.

This is the first memorial I have seen to combine Vietnam with September 11th. The glare from the sum made this particularly hard to read, so here is what it says.

We fought in the North
We fought in the South
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos

Dedicated August 8, 1992
Vandalized January 30, 2001
Rededicated in the Millenium year 
of our Lord
Sunday Veteran's Day
November 11, 2001
A tribute
In memory of September 11, 2001
Let us as a people never forget
It is all about time
The past, the present, the future

The opposite panel explains the various symbols found on the memorial, and there are many. Again, a lot of thought and effort went into creating this site.

This thought is reflected at many sites and is worth remembering.

As long time readers will recall, I am always pleased to find memorials that include the noble dogs (War Dogs) that worked with us. protected us and were our friends during this difficult time. I had a dog in 'Nam, not an Army dog, just a dog and she was the best. I tried to bring her home with me, but she had a batch of 10 puppies just weeks after we cleared animal husbandry. So, I could not afford to bring the pups (it cost two months pay just to bring her) and I could not abandon them so I passed "Short timer" and the pups on to a buddy, it nearly broke my heart. 

You are most likely aware that, now, many of these great animals come home with their "person", but this was not always the case. These dogs were just abandoned in Vietnam, I do not know if we even know how many, after protecting us, were just left to fend for them selves. It still is one of (the many) things that infuriate me.

I have often said that one of the "Silver Linings" of Vietnam is that we have learned to never treat a returning vet like that again. Perhaps, another is that we now allow the dogs to come home, too. I am not sure if this always happens, but at least sometimes it does.

Next time, on the 27th, we return to Pennsylvania, so join me there at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

North Carolina VI

The Durham North Carolina memorial has inscription on each side. The left panel speaks to the sacrifice made by so very many.

The right panel honors all who served, those lost and those who visit the site.

The names of those lost or MIA are inscribeed upon the blavk "V" adjacent to the panels.

Others are honored in the surrounding brick plaza.

Next time , on the 22nd, I will show several additional interesting components of this beloved memorial. So, join me at 9:00am.

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

North Carolina V

A few vets from the Durham area wanted to build a memorial to those who served and sacrificed so much in Vietnam. Rather than wait for approval form others, they set about building it themselves.

After some time, they raised money, designed and built it at the Edison-James Recreation Center which is part of the Museum of Life and Science. It is along a beautiful wooded path and is called a living memorial. It lists the names of the 38 killed and 1 MIA from the area.

The memorial was dedicated in 1992 and then for reasons still unknown, somebody took a piece of construction machinery and destroyed it in 2001! The community was devastated but their anger soon turned to action and it was rebuilt. This time, rather than a few vets working for it, the whole community pitched in. Money, labor, and materials were donated substantially reducing the cost of rebuilding the site.

Some had said it was as if their loved ones had been killed again, but the efforts to rebuild and improve the site brought many together again.

Today, I will show you a few initial photos. In the next one or two posts I will concentrate upon some of the details.

Rebuilt in the original wooded spot, the memorial, I think, is better than ever.

There are five benches that invite ivisitors to sit and reflect. Each bench represents one branch of the service. The flags are National, State and POW/MIA. The POW/MIA in particular is very faded. I once had a guy, who was in charge of replacing flags for his city, tell me that flags generally last about 30 days. so, the cost must become an issue at some point.

The memorial itself is polished granite and contains, names, quotes and maps. I will show them in more detail in the next post.

So, join me on the 17th, at 9:00am for more from Durham, North Carolina.

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

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New York V

While traveling through western New York, we came upon a memorial to the Navy's Sea Bees. I had never seen one just like this so we stopped. The term Sea Bees, as you may know, comes from Construction Battalions (CBs) and in one form or another these CBs have a long and storied history. I was surprised to find that the first U.S. intervention in Vietnam took place in 1845 when The Constitution was in Danang harbor and heard of an imprisoned Bishop. The Captain sent marines and Sea Bees to rescue him. To make a long story shorter, he was eventually freed.

The memorial is in North Tonawanda, New York in Fisherman's Park and is really impressive.

A Medal of Honor awardee from the Vietnam War is honored here.

An artist vision of a Sea Bee.

A whole wall of Sea Bees lost in Vietnam.

I have written before about the fact that nearly 9 out of every 10 guys in 'Nam was doing something other than direct combat and these numbers show that they paid the price, too.

North Carolina is next; meet me there on the 12th, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Mexico V

In Northern New Mexico lies the town of Springer. It is west of Taos and south of Trinidad, Colorado. I have attempted to get there before but was unable to do so. I was recently in Colorado and managed to get down to Springer and am really thrilled that I did.

In front of the "Old Colfax Court House" on Maxwell Ave is a small, enclosed area that is replete with memorials and remembrances. A couple, like the Vietnam Memorial are made of stone, but several others are carved wooded tributes, all done by the same man, "Eugene."

The Vietnam Memorial lists the fifty-one names of those from the area that served. There are no designations as to KIA/MIA so one assumes, hopes, that all returned safely.

Within one of the wood carvings, all from tree trunks or limbs, is this plaque. It honors all who have served, from WWI to Iraq and Afghanistan.

 I know that I repeat myself. Please indulge me. What small towns, like Springer, do for their vets is, so often, astounding. Thank you Springer.

On the 7th, at 9:00am, we will venture back to New York. See you there!

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