Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Florida XIV

A couple of years back I was in Florida and I had read a newspaper story about a new memorial in Doral. I drove on over and found the site, a small but picturesque little park,
with a number of memorials already in place.

No matter how hard or or how long a looked I just could not find the Vietnam memorial.

I noticed that the park was enclosed by a high chain link fence that was covered in canvas, so I peeked through a hole in the canvas to discover a cemetery on the other side of the fence. I figured that was it, the memorial was in the cemetery. I drove around to the entrance a few blocks away and talked to the folks in the office. Nope, no Vietnam memorial here.

I drove back to the original site and pulled out my phone to check the article I'd seen to see if Ii had made some kind of a n error. Nope, this was the spot. Somewhat confused, I tracked down the paper and called them and was put in touch with the reporter who wrote the story.

He explained that he was a stinger and had actually never seen the memorial but wrote the story based upon some info he had been forwarded.  He, too, had no idea what was up, but he gave me the number of his contact at the Doral City Hall.

I called City Hall and made contact with the contact. She explained that the city had "staged" the whole event so that they would have the story written and the photographs taken and ready to go when the memorial was actually dedicated a few months in the future.

Yep, they had brought in the statue, the military, the scout troops the whole shebang to create the story. Then the statue was removed and everybody went hoe to await the actual event.

I was surprised by all this, but relieved that I wasn't losing my mind. I would venture a guess that this is common preparation for many stories.

So, a while back I returned to Florida and, among the other memorials, I found the one in Doral, complete and in place.

An added bonus, for me, is that it was created by Richard Arnold, a sculptor from Colorado, whom I have spoken to a number of times. He is the one that created the memorial in Mobile Alabama, Colorado North Face in Fruita, and Iberville, Louisiana, all seen elsewhere on the A Means to Heal. I am sure I have more memorials of Richard's than any other sculptor on this site. He is a 'Nam vet and is deeply involved in remembrance.

Next time, on the July 1st, we will take another look at Georgia, so, as always, join me there at 9:00am.

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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Delaware X

I came upon this memorial in Townsend, Delaware and while it is a multi-war, we are not forgotten.

Located on the corner of Commerce and Main Streets it shares the town with the nearby Fire Base Lloyd that I have written about elsewhere on this site.

There are no names upon our plaque and one hopes that means that Townsend lost none of her sons and daughters.

I could find no additional information about this site, so, if you know its story, I would love to hear it. You can always reach meat the email to the left of this page. I am surprised at how often I hear from somebody when I make this request.

Next time, on the 26th, we will return to Florida, so meet e there at 9:00am.

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

Monday, June 11, 2018

California XXII

In my ongoing quest to find and document Vietnam memorials throughout America, as I have said before, sometimes they seem to fall into a couple of standard, if you will, catagories. They are most often some version of a wall with names, buddies helping buddies, or chopper rescue, so, I am always looking for something different, too.

This memorial, while not exclusively Vietnam, caught my attention the last time I was in Los Angeles.

It is the bridge at Sepuldeva and Bonsall, one of the entrances to the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.

It has been painted with numerous faces of those that served, unit patches, and other appropriate symbols like the POW/MIA flag. In places, it appears to be a work still in progress.

If you are a long term reader of this site, you may recognize this guy. I have no idea who he is, but his face also appears on the Venice, California memorial, indicating, I think that the same artist is involved with each site.

This is a view from the Medical Center side of the bridge.

Even inside the wall are covered with pictures. Note the parachutist.

I found my two patches, U.S. Army Vietnam and 1st Logistical Command, called by many, The leaning Shit House.

The bridge is located on Sepuldeva at Bonsall Ave and you need to wonder around a bit to find it and a place to park, but it is really quite impressive.

Next time, on the 16th, we will return to Delaware, so, join me there at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Arizona XVIII

My last post from Arizona was about my visit to the Tohono O' Odham reservation in Sells. As I noted then the memorial is mostly still under construction but someone suggested I check out the local Office of Veterans Affairs, not far away.

There I met a really nice young woman who showed me the artist renditions of what the memorial would look like when completed.

 She also showed me these miniature mock-ups of the site.

The medallions all have a V marked in the center and what appear to be dates written on them. I called the office today and the lady I spoke with did not know the origin of these markings. She, also, told me that they had run into a number of difficulties and the memorial was still not completed. I hope they are able to work out the problems and get it completed.

We got to talking about all the Office did for vets on the reservation and she commented that they supply the headstones for deceased members of the tribe.

She showed me this one, that had recently arrived and was waiting to be placed.

Rest in peace, brother

I hope I will get back at some time and be able to photograph the final memorial and perhaps discover the meaning of the medallions.

Next time, on the 12th, we will revisit California, so join me then, as usual, at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Alabama XIV

About 43 miles north of Anniston, we came upon Noccalula Falls Park, in fact, we nearly missed it because we had been given a different name.

Inside there is a very nice memorial to all who fought in and were lost in Vietnam.

The day was very bright and it was extremely difficult to get good pics on the sun side of the memorial, as you will see. I have always had a tough time countering glare on memorials.

It is kind of a paradox to me as many memorials are specifically designed to draw you in, reflect, become part of the memorial, but it makes them especially difficult to photograph for much of the day.

There are no names listed here, but the text on the front says:

 Into Vietnam went Brave and Patriotic men and women
Their motivation was not greed, was not power, was not heroism.
Their motivation was love of country, the love of family, 
and the belief that everyone should be free

That was their motivation

That was their strength

This noble passage is attributed to Sumner R. King and I can find not one word about him anywhere.

If you have any info, I would love to know it.

The back of  the memorial depicts POWs, the passing of time, and families waiting.

There are other memorials and many activities available in the park and is certainly well worth a visit. It is located at:

1500 Noccalula Road
Gadsden, Alabama

Next time, on the 7th, we return to Arizona, so join me there at 9:00am.

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