Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Colorado XVIII

Today, after a break for Thanksgiving, we return to Soldierstone deep in Colorado.  If you have been following for a while, you know that this will be another a series. If you have not, I suggest that you scroll back a few posts to get the whole story

So, these next five pics are of pillow stones honoring many of the brave who tried in vain to help Vietnam towards freedom. independence and self determination. It is too easy, I think, for us to think of this as an American war, but these stones highlighted over the past few posts remind us of how many made the ultimate sacrifice far away from their homes and loved ones.

The French, over the years, have taken a lot of grief regarding their martial abilities, but these lines from a poem remind is of their sacrifice in Vietnam. One may easily argue about colonialism and whether it is ever correct and moral, but more than 10,500 French Foreign Legionnaires were lost in Indochina. These Legionnaires were from many different countries, but were drawn to fight along side the French.

These lines, very worn and hard to see here, are from a Legionnaires poem.

A friend says at the edge of a grave
a bit of a prayer
Two pieces of wood in the form of a cross
a name
Does it matter if the name 
is not the right name?
It's a Legionnaire

The Thais were involved not only in Vietnam but also in Laos. The soldiers were often blessed by a Buddhist monks and this stone reflects the words of Phra Ajaan Lee from his last recorded sermon.

Those who have gone to the Buddha as refuge
   will not go to the realms of deprivation
                     On abandoning the human body
they will fill the company of the gods

Many ex-German soldiers were recruited from P.O.W. camps run by the allies into the French Union Forces after WWII. These forces under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny inflicted heavy losses upon the Viet Minh, their victorys, as we know, were for naught. The two bottom lines, in German, read;

Died for France?
Yes, died for France.

One of the ancient Chinese stratagems speaks to sacrifice as is made in all wars. This one says;

Sacrifice the Plum tree
for the Peach tree

It speaks to the necessity of, sometimes, losing one thing to gain another, even in war. If you think about Gallipolli, or other suicide missions, you may understand.


More than 4,000 ROK (Republic of Korea) soldiers died in Vietnam. They were reputed to be bad asses and we tended to let them go their own way. This poem written in the mid 700's seems completely appropriate here. Written by Master Wolmyong it is called Requiem.

 We know not where we go,
Leaves blown, scattered,
Though fallen fron the same tree,
By the first winds of Autumn.

Next time, on Dec. 7th, I will post a few of the other interesting things found at this site. So join me, as usual, at 9:00am for what I think will be the last from Soldierstone.

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

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