Monday, March 25, 2019

Virginia XIII

I visit the Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia fairly often. I was not a Marine, but the museum is a fabulous place to get a sense of American involvements around the world and there is a whole wing dedicated to Vietnam.

Outside, as I have said before, there is a long walking path with memorials dedicated to many individual groups and the last time I was there I came across a couple that were more recently added.

This one commemorates and honors those of the 1st Battalion 7th Marines

Like nearly all of the memorials here it sits among the trees, perhaps reminiscent of the jungles of Vietnam.

Semper Fi, Marines, Semper Fi!

Next time, on the 30th, we will take a trip back to Alabama, so as always, meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Pennsylvania XXV

Returning from a trip to the Shanksville 911 memorial site, I stopped in Bedford, Pa to grab a bite. While sitting in the restaurant I notices a sign on the wall that seemed to be about a Vietnam memorial. It was announcing the dedication of an addition of a statue to the existing memorial later in the year.

Intrigued, I looked up where the existing memorial was located and found that it was only a couple of blocks away.

It sits in Veterans Grove on the grounds of the Bedford County Court House among a number of other memorials.

Located on the corner of Juliana and  Penn Streets it is easy to find.

From the street side the view is this statement of honor and support for all who served.

The reverse lists the 21 from Bedford County lost to our efforts in 'Nam.

 The brick field behind is nearly full of dedication bricks to various individuals who served.

The circle at the base of the "V" at the end of the brick field will eventually be the resting place of a statue of the Robert Hartsock, the only military dog handler to ever be a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

The statue will debut on March 28th, 6 to 9pm at the Bedford Elks and will be placed at a later date.

If you are interested call Dennis Tice at 814-623-1771 for more details.

Next time, on the 25th, we will return to Virginia, so, as always meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

New York XVIII

For reasons I cannot understand on my last visit to Long Island, I completely missed this magnificent memorial. So much for doing good research.

My 'Nam buddy of more than 50 years who lives on Long Island took me to see it on this trip.

The Suffolk County Vietnam Memorial sits atop Bald Hill in Farmingville, Long Island. At one time on this brief visit I thought I had located a couple of memorials in the area: Farmingville, Brookhaven, and Bald Hill. It turns out they are all the same place.

But what a place it is.

Bald Hill is 331 feet above sea level, one of the highest points on Long Island. In fact looking east you can see the Atlantic Ocean not far away.

 We first approached from west side of the memorial which had not been cleared and attempted to trudge through the frozen snow and icy footsteps of someone braver (and probably younger) then John and I.

We discovered that the memorial was actually much further away that it looks and we would have needed to tread down into a deep ravine and up the other side in the ice and snow. We discovered the other entrance, on the east side and happily found this one cleared and an easy walk
to the memorial.

The memorial which looks, on first view, like it is a three sided triangular tower actually has a fourth very short side. I'm not sure why that is and can find nothing about the construction process. It is quite a sight. 100 feet tall and painted as if an American Flag is wrapped around its peak.

While there the light changed dramatically for a few minutes. The clouds came it and darkened the sky and then, suddenly, the sun peeked through and brilliantly lit the top portion of the spire. I was fortunate to have been standing there.

The memorial was built in cooperation with the local Vietnam Veterans of America and was dedicated on November 11th, 1991. It sits in nearly the center of Long Island and if traveling near Farmingville on Route 83 it will be hard to miss.

Our next visit, on the 20th, will be to Pennsylvania, so meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Sunday, March 10, 2019

New Mexico XVII

As many of you know Santa Fe is one of my favorite places on earth. I visit as often as is possible and while on this journey I have often attempted to find a Vietnam memorial in the city. I have failed every time. I was told that no such memorial existed and that I should go to Albuquerque or Angel Fire to find memorials . Well, if you have followed this site a while, you know that I have visited those places, often as a matter of fact.

So, my quest continued as it just did not seem reasonable to me that a city the size of Santa Fe would have nothing to honor her Vietnam vets.

While photographing the Medal of Honor recipients display in the state capitol building, I got to chatting with the guard on duty. I happened to mention my bewilderment at the absence of a Vietnam Memorial and he said. "Oh, we have one, its over in Greigo Park"

Astounded, I said "What, I've been looking for it for years!" He said he lived in the neighborhood and knew exactly where it was. He gave me directions and in a matter of minutes a years long, frustrating search was ended. Just like that, I was standing in front of it.

The park is named after John F. Greigo who was killed on January 14, 1967 at the age of 21 after serving 10 months of his 12 month tour in Vietnam.  At the time of his death he had one brother serving in the Army in Germany, one brother serving in the Air Force stateside and one brother who had just finished his stint in the Air Force. The memorial honors the, now 18, lost from Santa Fe.

Note: one name has been added since I took this picture
Nearby is this, presumably, earlier memorial.

Note; There are 16 names on this memorial

The fact that the earlier memorial has 16 names and my photo has 17 and now there are 18 on the newer one emphasizes the on going work of identifying and honoring our brothers and sisters who were lost. 

Each May names are added to The Wall in D.C. if any have been identified. This past May, none were added, and it causes me to wonder if we have actually added the last name and whom that person might be, if not. Springsteen sings a lament about 'Nam asking "Who will be the last to die..." and I wonder will we ever know.

The memorial is on Paseo de la Conquistadoras.

Next time, on the 15th, we will return to New York, so meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

New Jersey XIII

The memorial is three-winged, brown, block/landscaping stone wall. The middle wall is about six feet tall with a black plaque in the middle bearing the dedication and names of soldiers. On the ends are six foot walls, angled in slightly bearing the seals of the various branches of the armed services and additional plaques.

The memorial was built under the direction of Camden County American Legion in 2003-2004 with the help of the Mayor and the Borough of Lindenwold, and many other people. It is set off the walking path, in the grass.

There is a three part wall, like an open book, in the center is the memorial tablet, black, with inscribed names.

Flanking this are the two other walls with the emblems of various military armed forces. There are two benches set back, a brick floor between the benches and the wall.

The park may be found at United States Avenue and Alkmonton Road and the memorial is at the far side of the park from this entrance.

Next time on the 10th, we will revisit New Mexico, so join me there at 9:00am.

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