Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 29, 2016

This will be the final non-memorial post for this year. I will return to posting Vietnam memorials on January 3, 2017.

While driving through the west of Ireland, we came upon this ruined Monastery. It was build by St. Coleman in 610 A.D. in a place now called Kilmacduagh, after the Saint, himself..( Kil means cell and Mac Duagh is Coleman's surname.) It lies between Ennis and Galway.

The round tower is the tallest in Ireland at 110 feet. These were used as places for the monks to hide when the Vikings or others tried to do them harm. they were also used as bell towers. This one leans to some degree and as been compared to the Leaning tower of Pisa.

The main building is the remains of a Cathedral and the smaller one is a churches and the square one the Abbott's residence.

The church yard is filled with graves, many very old, some quite current and several have generation after generation listed upon them.

This is a view into the Cathedral. I liked the receding arches. It is said that there are a number of carvings within, but the place was chained the day I was there.

If interested, there is much more information here:  

The place seemed just a little more special to us because my wife has relatives who live not so very far from this site named Coleman, whom we have spent great time with in past visits.

OK, now on the 3rd, we will resume postings about Vietnam memorials, so join me then, as always at 9:00am.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016

In keeping with my tradition of not posting about memorials during the holiday season I was somewhat at a loss as to what to post today.

I had hoped to get to The Wall in DC to post the pictures of the Christmas tree and wreaths from Wreaths Across America, but it is just not to be this year.

I remembered that a while back I was in the Baltimore
area and happened upon a nursery all lit up for the season. I stopped ina tried to capture some of the beauty but was not so successful.

Here are three that I thought were worth sharing. Please enjoy, no matter how, or what, you celebrate and take just a moment to remember all those who, throughout the world cannot be home, at this joyous time of the year, with their family and friends.

Santa himself, all alone, awaiting some youngster.

Hard to see here, but the tree is all decorated and lit.

This is not a small gingerbread house on display. It is a pretty big, kid size, playhouse.

So, for this Christmas eve, that is it. Just wishing you and yours and soldiers and vets everywhere the best holidays ever.

Next time, on the 29th, I will post some more pics from Ireland's west coast before getting back to the job at hand: Vietnam memorials in the New Year.

To see Vietnam memorials from around the USA, please click on a state name on the left side of this page.

Monday, December 19, 2016

2016 Holidays

As anyone who has followed this post, for any time, knows at this time of year I try to post something other than stories about Vietnam memorials. It just seems incongruent to write about the loss of so many at this particular season of joy and renewal.

So, I have been thinking about what to share this year.

I visited Ireland in the fall and these are a few of the more interesting pics I was able to take.

An ancient Irish High Cross. Most of these were destroyed by Oliver Cromwell and his troops who used them for target practice. I have seen these before but never with this detail and color. It seems the originals, which depict Bible scenes, etc, were highly colorized by the builders.

This is an Ogham stone. Note the carved slashed on the edges, this is an example of what is often called Tree Writing as the slashes come off a center line. the Ogham alphabet at 25 letters and these stones were a type of message board, sometimes marking boundaries.

This stands just on the edge of Stephens Green in Dublin. It commemorates those lost in the Irish Famine.There is currently a movement to stop using the term famine, because famine connotes that this tragedy was an act of nature, it was not. There was NO famine in Ireland. There was a potato blight and millions of people dies or fled Ireland, half the population was lost, but it was completely man made. All the crops, other than the potatoes were taken and shipped to England. The Irish were left with only the potatoes, and they were destroyed by the blight, hence the starvation. In an effort to unsanitize this treachery, the movement to call it what it was, has emerged.

This a Dolmen, thought to be a burial facility, and they are scattered all across Ireland. Ions ago, it would have been a completely covered in stone. It is believed that over the centuries the missing stones were carried away for other purposes.

And, finally, the Molly Malone statue in Dublin. The Irish have a quick sense of humor and they have a propensity for calling things by other names. I have seen another statue of a water sprite in flowing water which has been renamed by the locals as The Floozy in the Jacuzzi, well, so too this the famous Molly, renamed the Tart with the Cart. It is also customary to flip a coin into her ample cleavage for luck. Ah, the Irish!

So, that's it for today. I hope to have a special greeting up on the 24th, so if you have a minute at this hectic time of the year, plaese check back.

Otherwise, have a most joyous and peaceful hoiday however you choose to celebrate it.

If you are brand new to this site, click on a state name at the left to see Vietnam memorials from any state in the union and check back often as new ones are posted every 5th day at 9:00am.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Florida XI

I had read, somewhere, that there was a memorial in Tropical Park in Miami. so, I found my way over to this beautiful park that was filled with all the regular amenities, playing fields, shelters, lakes etc and a stadium. I drove all through the place and could find no memorial, so I stopped a worked and asked him and he assured me that no such memorial existed, He told me that the park did have a memorial to Police Officers but not to veterans.

I was disappointed but figured this trip was a bust, far from the first time info had been wrong. As I continued through the park, I just decided that this was not correct. I knew what I had read.

So, I just kept wandering around and was actually on the verge of giving up when off in the distance, amongst some palms, I saw an American Flag.

Base of the monument

I drove over and there is was.

This is a multi-war memorial honoring several wars, no names are listed, but I still found it elegant and beautiful. I had been to another site in the area to find that a memorial I had read about was not yet installed. Perhaps, more on that at a later time.

So, the lesson, this time, was trust your knowledge and instincts. If I had given up this one would have been lost.

Next time, on the 19th, I hope to have some pics of the seasons decorations at The
Wall, so, check back then, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Friday, December 9, 2016

Connecticut XI

We happened to roll in to Norwich on Memorial Day a couple of years back and we were pleased to find crowds on Veteran's Green having a memorial ceremony.

A stage had been constructed and there were a number of people in uniform and the remnants of a band nearby. we arrived just as things were winding up, but it was still great to see a town celebrating, honoring and remembering her vets.

The Green consists of a number of memorials to vets from various wars, but I thought it just a little unusual to find a 'Nam and a POW/MIA of equal size, right next to each other.

Throughout the Green are these other memorials, not specific, but just as meaningful.

In addition to the larger, probably newer one, this is dedicated to all POW/MIA's. Again, it does not mention a particular war, but the soldier named died in 1973. When I see these memorials dedicated to those who were lost in 73 or beyond, I always think of John Kerry's question when testifying before congress, paraphrased here to "who will be the last to die?"

Next time, on the 14th, we will return to Florida, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Colorado XXV

The Boulder Municipal Building sits at 1777 Broadway and on its grounds rests this memorial to the 25 from the area that were lost or missing.

The one missing man is Jim Hamm and I have written before about him on this site. If you want to read that post, click Colorado on the left and scroll back 'til you find the posts from Longmont. Jim Hamm was assumed captured but has never come home and has been declared dead. RIP

The top of the memorial is inscribed.

 Below the names of those lost, embedded in the brick, is a plaque.

The plaque is dedicated to the memory of Neil J. Neitenbach who died on July 14, 1992. I have made a number of inquiries, in a number of places, but can find absolutely nothing about this man. As always, I turn to you for help. If you know anything about who this is, let me know and I will update here.

Next time, on December 9, we will revisit Connecticut, so, join me there at 9:00am.

To see other memorials from Colorado, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.
Update: Today, November 12th, 2020 I heard from Neil's wife who happened upon this site. Neil was the creator of this memorial and the night he completed it, the day before its dedication, he went out with friends on his motorcycle. He was involved in a not fully explained accident and was killed.
His wife now lives in North Dakota and his daughter is in the Navy. She was five when he was lost and visits this site when in Colorado.

Once again, as so often is the case, I find there is more to the story and once again my plea for help was heard. I took these photos in 2011, posted them in 2017, and today, finally, have my question answered. Thank you.

R.I.P. Neil and thank you for caring and for your memorial.