Sunday, August 28, 2016

Maine IX

Turner, Maine lies about 32 miles west south west of Augusta. Founded before the Revolutionary War the population in 1970 was 2,246 and about 400 less in 1960, so in 1968 it is probably safe to say that it may have been a few less than the 1970 count.

Nearby to today's site there is a cemetery with a memorial honoring those lost through WWII and "all future wars" so, one might have expected to find nothing more. But, not far away, on School House Road is this small memorial to the one man from turner who was lost in Vietnam.

Phillip S. Bryant was a marine medic credited with saving a number of lives, both American and Vietnamese.

 He was killed clearing a land mine. I am not sure how that works in the Marines, one might be forgiven for thinking there were guys who specialized in this but, perhaps all Marines were expected to perform this task.

The site rests at the top of a ravine leading down to a river and it is easy to imagine that perhaps this was a favorite spot for Bryant, but I am speculating.

Many people seem to have been involved in the creation of this memorial. It is somewhat unusual to see family members listed on a memorial, but I think it is a nice touch.

Next time, on the September 3, we will check out Maryland, once again, so, join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Florida X

I had the most unfortunate experience of being stranded in Florida last winter while the mid-Atlantic region got hammered with a major snow storm. Sad, but true. I was forced to remain in sunny, warm Florida longer than I had planned.

In an attempt to make the best of a bad situation, I decided to head to Key West ( I know, but somebody had to do it, right?) I had seen pictures of what appeared to be a small Vietnam memorial in the sand and decided I would check it out.

Well, it turned out that Key West had dedicated a brand new expansion of that small memorial just a couple of months before I was stranded. It is really quite impressive and I couldn't be happier that I ended up deciding to go.

Today, I will show you only the original memorial and save the newer additions for future, probably several, posts.

This is the memorial as you approach from the nearby parking lot off the main road. It mostly lists the names of supporters and contributors to the overall project.

The memorial from the other side listing the fallen and honoring all. This is the view that I had seen elsewhere and expected to find once in Key West.

The Honor Roll list all that made the ultimate sacrifice in 'Nam.

The list continues on the opposite side with one soldier standing out on a separate plaque.

Hard to see in the above picture, here is the marking above the plaque. I have never seen anything like this before in my visits to hundreds and hundreds of Vietnam memorials across the country.

I looked up Pvt. Recupero and was dismayed to find virtually nothing except that he was killed by small arms fire on April 24th, 1966. I think this is sad.

I wi8ll write lots more about Key West in the future, there is a lot to see here.

Next time,on the 28th, we will take another trip to Maine, so join me usual, at 9:00am.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Connecticut X

This small, yet elegant, memorial to the five from Bloomfield who were lost sits on the village green. It shares the space with memorials to other heroes and other wars and can be found on Jerome Avenue.

The dedication on the back speaks to the honor of those who served.

In keeping, I suppose, with the, sometimes, insular nature of small towns, not too much information is available about this site. I invite you, as I always do, to get in touch if you can supply more information. Many of you have done this in the past and I always enjoy learning more or being corrected when I err.

All that served all honored here as well they should be.

Next time, on the 23rd, we will revisit Florida, so, join me there at 9:00am, as always.

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

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Colorado XXIV

The Colorado Vietnam Memorial is located in Pueblo and you can read it's most fascinating story elsewhere on this site. Also, located in Pueblo is a memorial to Drew Dix who is a medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam war. He is one of four from Pueblo who have been awarded the MOH, one from WWII and two from Korea.

The memorial tells the story of SSGT Dix's heroism and how he had always dreamed of being a Green Beret, but was turned down due to his very young age at enlistment. Three years after joining the Army, he was admitted to the program and realized his dream.

You can read some of his story ion this plaque that is part of the statue and here: and elsewhere on the 'net.

The site also, lists the names of all MOH recipients. There are currently 3515 Medals awarded, some earned more than one, and one, only one, has been awarded to a woman. Learn more here:

UPDATE: I recently asked the center if the list of awardees is kept up to date and they assured me that it is periodically updated to reflect all recipients. Several will be added in the relatively near future so that all will be listed for their convention in Pueblo in 2017.

An interesting fact that I have observed on my travels is that SSGT. Dix is claimed by at least three other states and they list his name on various memorials. He must have lived in or in some way be connected to these additional places.

The memorial is located at the Pueblo convention Center, 320 Central Main Street.

Next time, on the 18th, we head back to Connecticut, so as I always say, join me there at 9:00am.

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

Monday, August 8, 2016

California XVI

California State University at Fresno honors many at this site. Several wars and a number of alum who served or were lost are singled out for remembrance.

Designed by a professor at the school, one marvels at how far we have come. Cal State, to be sure, had it's share of anti-war issues, like so many others, yet, they have chosen to build this stately site.

But, here, is something I have not seen before. The left side of this memorial honors the 20,000 civilian women that served in 'Nam and remind us, again, of their patriotism and sacrifice, especially the 56 who were lost, in addition to the 8 nurses listed on The Wall.

I have spoken of these women in the past, but they deserve another salute,as we deserve another reminder. 

The following information was found at Vietnam Reflections, check them out at

American Red Cross

Hannah E. Crews Died in a jeep accident, Bien Hoa, October 2,1969.
Virginia E. Kirsch Murdered by US soldier in Cu Chi, August 16, 1970.
Lucinda J. Richter Died of Guillain-Barre syndrome, Cam Ranh Bay, February 9, 1971.

Army Special Services

Rosalyn Muskat Died in a jeep accident, Long Binh, 1968.
Dorothy Phillips Died in a plane crash, Qui Nhon, 1967.

Catholic Relief Services

Gloria Redlin Shot to death in Pleiku, l969.

Central Intelligence Agency

Barbara Robbins Died when a bomb exploded in front of the American Embassy, Saigon, March 30, 1965.
Betty Gebhardt Died in Saigon, 1971.

United States Agency for International Development

Marilyn L. Allen Murdered by US soldier in Nha Trang, August 16, 1967.
Dr. Breen Ratterman Died in a fall from a balcony in Saigon, October 2, 1969.

United States Department of the Navy OICC (Officer in Charge of Construction)

Regina "Reggie" Williams Died of a heart attack in Saigon, 1964.


Georgette "Dickey" Chappelle Killed by a mine on patrol with Marines outside Chu Lai, November 4, 1965.
Phillipa Schuyler Killed in a firefight, Da Nang, May 9, 1966.


Carolyn Griswald * Ruth Thompson * Ruth Wilting: All 3 killed in raid on leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet February 1, 1968.
Betty Ann Olsen Captured during raid on leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet 68. Died in 1968 and was buried somewhere along Ho Chi Minh Trail by fellow POW, Michael Benge. Remains not recovered.
Eleanor Ardel Vietti Captured at leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot, May 30, 1962. Still listed as POW.
Janie A. Makil Shot to death in an ambush, Dalat, March 4, 1963. Janie was 5 months old.
Evelyn Anderson * Beatrice Kosin Both captured and burned to death in Kengkok, Laos, 1972. Remains recovered and returned to US.

Operation Babylift

The following women were killed in the crash, outside Saigon, of the C5-A Galaxy transporting Vietnamese children out of the country on April 4, 1975. All of the women were working for various US government agencies in Saigon at the time of their deaths with the exception of Theresa Drye (a child) and Laurie Stark (a teacher). Sharon Wesley had previously worked for both the American Red Cross and Army Special Service. She chose to stay on in Vietnam after the pullout of US military forces in 1973. (Source: August 13, 2000 The Baltimore Sun)

Barbara Adams * Clara Bayot * Nova Bell * Arleta Bertwell * Helen Blackburn * Ann Bottorff * Celeste Brown * Vivienne Clark * Juanita Creel * Mary Ann Crouch * Dorothy Curtiss * Twila Donelson * Helen Drye * Theresa Drye * Mary Lyn Eichen * Elizabeth Fugino * Ruthanne Gasper * Beverly Herbert * Penelope Hindman * Vera Hollibaugh * Dorothy Howard * Barbara Maier * Rebecca Martin * Sara Martini * Martha Middlebrook * Katherine Moore * Marta Moschkin * Marion Polgrean * June Poulton * Joan Pray * Sayonna Randall * Anne Reynolds * Marjorie Snow * Laurie Stark * Barbara Stout * Doris Jean Watkins * Sharon Wesley

These brave women, too, must never be forgotten.

Our next stop, on the 13th, will be in Colorado, so meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Arizona XI

Anthem, Arizona has a most beautiful and unique memorial. It is not specifically to Vietnam but we are remembered and included among the names honored on the plaza like area.

I did not visit on November 11th, but on the day I was there I met a really nice Canadian guy who was escorting a WWII vet to the site. We had a very long and friendly conversation about his service, mine, and Vietnam in general. It was a very special visit for me.

The following I took directly from a site about the memorial. It contains some of the ideas and story of the site. I could certainly do no better in telling the story.

In 2011, 97 years after the Armistice of World War I, we have the once in a century experience of adding the eleventh year.  The new Anthem Veterans Memorial in Arizona, a beautiful expression of astronomical time, will be dedicated today on 11.11.11.
Designed by Renee Palmer-Jones, it consists of five pillars in graduated heights, representing the five branches of the U.S. military.  At the top of each pillar is a large elliptical shaped hole, gathering sunlight downward through the five ellipses toward a mosaic of the Great Seal of the United States at the foot of the pillars.  Each year on November 11 at precisely 11:11 am, the shadows of the pillars will align into one column and the elliptical sunlight will form a perfect circle shining onto the Great Seal.

Installing the Great Seal at the Anthem Veterans Memorial, November 9, 2011
The design focus of this memorial is the astronomy of November 11, not an arrangement of names.  Yet arrangement principles inform our experience in Anthem.  The pillars are organized by Department of Defense order of precedence.  There are only five units, so this ordering is simpler than the British Army order of precedence used at Edwin Lutyens’ World War I Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in Thiepval, France.

Chronology forms the basic arrangement, giving precedence to the oldest units.  However, even with only five, there are two exceptions.  Three of the units were founded in 1775:  the Army (June 14), the Navy (October 13) and the Marines (November 10).  The Navy disbanded in 1781, only to be reinstated later the same year.  So it appears third, after the Marines.  The Coast Guard was founded in 1790, but it is now in fifth position as a part of Homeland Security rather than the Department of Defense.  If the Coast Guard returns to the Department of Defense during a war, it would stand between the Navy and the Air Force (1947).

The arrangement and graduated heights of Anthem’s five pillars display an order of precedence, but the equality of the services is also expressed in the placement of their seals at equal heights on the pillars’ narrow sides.  This equality carries through in the benches at the front of the memorial.  Although they are five in number, they are not individually designated with the name of a military unit.

The Anthem Memorial Planning Committee used the fund-raising technique of engraved brick pavers that can be purchased to honor military personnel or to show community support.  Pavers with military names form a Circle of Honor on the ground around the Great Seal and the pillars.  They are primarily organized chronologically by donation date.  Prior to placement, families can request to be grouped together, similar to the “meaningful adjacencies” of the World Trade Center memorial in New York.  Two rows of blank bricks surround the Circle of Honor in soldier row formation, the typical placement of headstones in military cemeteries.

Pavers representing the non-military support of individuals, businesses and organizations, are arranged by size of donation in front of the benches, with the largest donations at the center bench.  The next two funding tiers are at the left and right of the center bench, with the two end benches reserved for the fourth tier.  The pavers within each tier are in no particular order, although they aren’t quite random.  Liz Turner of the Memorial Planning Committee told me they tried to lay these bricks in a manner that was “aesthetically pleasing.”

In its use of astronomical time, the Anthem Veterans Memorial fully honors the historic tradition of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  Its primary symbol is the gathering of sunlight onto the Great Seal of the United States at 11:11 on November 11.  Yet peripheral arrangement decisions add power to this memorial.  Those pillars could be in alphabetical order, but this is a memorial to history.  Order of precedence reflects that.

I would love, someday, to actually be there on November 11th. I'll let you know if that ever happens.

Next time, on the 8th, we will take another trip to California, so join me there, as usual, at 9:00am.

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