Saturday, July 29, 2017

Washington XI

Bellingham, Washington has a couple of memorials that include our comrades from Vietnam.

This one is located at 311 Grand Avenue.

It is among a couple of others to the World Wars and the Global War on Terror and honors 26 of Bellingham's sons.

Elegant in its simplicity it sits surrounded by Native American totems, albeit a more modern version, a common site in this part of the country.

Next time, on the 3rd of august, we will revisit Alabama, so join me there at 9:00am.

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

South Dakota XX

Hurley, South Dakota represents another of those great stories about small towns.

This memorial, in a park, sits on Central Street and honors all who served. It is not a specific Vietnam memorial but it was just so neat I wanted to include it here.

Hurley has a population of 415 as of the 2010 census and they were dedicated and determined enough to find a way to honor their vets.

Nearby, this stage says it all.

Next time, on the 29th, we will return to Washington, so join me there at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pennsylvania XX

This will be the second or third time I have written something about Bristol Borough in Pennsylvania.

This time I will show you a more general veterans memorial dedicated to all from the area who have served.

It is really quite beautiful.

As great as this memorial is, I can find very little about it. I know that it was originally a WWII memorial that has been expanded to include all.

These panels honor  POW's, Purple Heart recipients, MIA's and Women in the Military.

I may be mistaken, but I think the names listed on the plaques are those who served in the various services, while the names in the stars, below, are those who were lost.

Bricks are inlaid all around the surrounding plaza and these are more specific to individuals and the wars in which they served.

It is very unusual to find a town, or borough in this case, that goes so far out of it's way to honor those who have served. I think special recognition for Bristol is well deserved.

Next time, on the24th, we will return to South Dakota, so, as usual, meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Oregon XVI

While driving through Oregon we stopped at a fast food joint and got talking to the folks there. One of them asked (as someone nearly always does) if we knew about the memorial in Hubbard? She told us it was nor too far from where we were and that it was on the way to our next planned destination.

Well, of course, we went and while it is a nice memorial, I didn't see its particular connection to Vietnam. Other than the names on the plaza stones, 'Nam is not mentioned anywhere.

The memorial specifically to Marion E. Carl has quite some detail about his remarkable career, but not a word about Vietnam.

Detail from above photo
 I did some research on him and was just astounded by his achievements.

Among these are his service in Vietnam. He was well along in his career by this time but still flew numerous combat missions in both choppers and jets. He, also, refused all personal medals for his service in 'Nam

In 1964 he was promoted to brigadier general; in 1965, he took the First Marine Brigade to Danang, South Vietnam. Despite his seniority, he repeatedly flew combat missions helicopter gunships and in jet fighters.

Take a couple of minutes and read more about him here:

It is somewhat ironic that a man can serve his whole career in the military, get more medals than you can count, hold various records for flight and then, in the end, be killed in his own home by an intruder. Read all about it at the site listed above.

Next time, on the 19th, we will return to Pennsylvania, so meet me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, July 8, 2017

New York XIII

You may recall that I recently found an old buddy from 'Nam and that I went a spent a few days with him. We visited a number of memorials in his area and eventually we found our way back to his hometown.

As we drove by a park in the town, he commented that it had been the site of the towns Vietnam memorial for quite some time and that the town had his name on it as KIA. He joked that he  had to drive past the damn thing every day!

Well, the town built a new memorial on the lawn of the Town Hall and this time they got it right.

The flags you see covering the lawn each have a of a vet attached to them and they may be purchased as a fund raiser for the town.

Huntington is small enough that they are able to list the names of all that served, so my buddy's name is listed correctly on this one.

Adjacent to the wall there is one of the very few memorials I have seen  dedicated solely to women who served.

Surrounding a small planting area are individual plaques like the one above to individual wars.

The memorial may be found at t e Huntington Veterans Plaza on the lawn of the Town Hall in Huntington, New York, on Long Island.

Next time, on the 14th, we will revisit Oregon, so join me there at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4th, 2017

The Independence Day celebration is always a bit of a mixed bag for me.

I remember as a kid how much it meant to me and my anticipation and worry about if my folks would take me somewhere to see fireworks? Usually, they did, but I always worried.

As an adult, it seems important to continue these traditions and to honor those that have allowed us to retain our independence. Vietnam and more recent wars  have never really seemed to be about our independence and we all know the questions, right or wrong, about whether or not we should be engaged in wars of dubious intent and outcome.

As a Grandparent, I want my grand kids to know and understand what Independence Day is all about and to enjoy their thrill at all the festivities.

As a 'Nam vet, well that is a completely different matter all together.

I hate the noise, and God, I hate the smell, and what it has all come to represent for me. So, each year I wrestle with the question of what am I going to do?

I don't want to go.

I know many vets that feel the same way.

But, the grandchildren love it, just as I did all those many summers ago, How many years will I get to treasure their joy as they grow up and away? Also, I do not ever want to pass on my anxiety, so I work to keep it masked from them.

So, today, I will swallow what I feel and take my girls to the fireworks and concert in our area and watch them laugh and thrill to it all.

And, I will hope that they are never burdened with their own memories and doubts.

I hope you all have a great day.

Jefferson statue at Williamson, Va.
OK, on a lighter note, a quiz.

When was the Declaration of Independence signed?

July 4th, right?

Well, no.

It was signed on July 2nd and sent to the printer. He didn't get around to printing it until the 4th and, hence, used that date. So, the rest as they say.....

Detail from Jefferson's writing

Next time on July 9th, we will retrace our steps to New York, so join me there at 9:00am.

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