Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day 2016

Usually, I write about our forefathers and the sacrifices they and generation after generation have made for our country on the July 4th holiday. This year, at the LZ in Maryland I had the honor of meeting a guy who shared with me his artwork. He has created a carving/painting of the guys who wash The Wall, every month. weather permitting. They also take care of the Three Servicemen and The Women's Memorial, but are, generally, known as the guys who "wash the Wall."

Note that the piece is hinged so that it can be displayed at the same angles as the Wall

V.V.A. ( Vietnam Veterans of America) Chapter 641 is made up of a group of guys who have continued to serve their country and this got me thinking about service in general.

The woman is the red shirt is the wife of the Vietnamese soldier who comes each month to help

Service comes in many forms and I could never list them all, but these guys and Mike Higgs, the guy who created this artwork, are certainly to be admired for their never ending dedication to The Wall and their country.

The child in the center left is the grandson of the Vietnamese couple

Mike sent me the pics and permission to use them here and he told me that people come from all over to participate, to help, to say "Thank you."

Aussies and a South Vietnamese soldier and his family are regulars at the early Saturday morning cleanings. As Mike says, "comrades honoring comrades."

Mike with his work
 I met with Mike today and took some additional photos to include here. He told me that each of the figures in the work are actual people. He pointed out the Aussie and each member of the Vietnamese family and several of the VVA 641 members. It made the whole piece even more meaningful to me as I know a number of these guys. He, also, pointed out his wife and himself, along with a photographer from VVA.

Seeing it up close made it clear that he carves each figure and detail, and then paints them as he thinks fit. There is a surprise painted into the figures on the right side of the Wall. See if you can find it! I didn't see it at first, but when Mike pointed it out, I was amazed. If you can't find it, write me at this site and I will point it out.

That;s Mike with the hose at the end
So, service takes many forms and for many vets it continues through out their lives. This 4th of July, this Independence Day, enjoy the fire works (I can't) the cook outs, the beer and celebrations, but, also, remember the service and sacrifice made by so very many, so that you can celebrate as you choose.

Happy Birthday, America!

Next time, on the 9th, we will revisit Oregon, so meet me there at 9:00am.

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

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