Monday, July 29, 2019

Arizona XXIII

I have long been a fan of Bisbee, Arizona. Mostly because it is the setting of a series of books that I read by local author J.A. Jance, but also because I have visited it a couple of times and it it is quite beautiful, a little funky, and very interesting.

Maybe 90 minutes south of Tucson and very close to the border it offers much to see and do. And, it turns out it is the home of two Vietnam memorials at least that is what I thought I knew.

Here is the only picture I have seen of the memorial. Said to be a multi-war memorial honoring those who fought in several of our most recent wars, up to and including Vietnam.

Photo by Bill Kirchner found at The Memorial Day Foundation website
When I arrived in Bisbee I started my search for the site, to no avail. I wandered around and around, asking advice from the Mayors Office, the local police, I called Veterans groups, stopped citizens on the street, and went to the local historical society. Most had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, all tried to be helpful, but nothing, nada, zip, zilch. The historical society confirmed that I was indeed looking in the correct spot, but no idea where it might have gone or what happened to it.

The spot today looks exactly like the picture above without the memorial. It sits at one end of a very small parking lot with the above bushes still in place. the gentleman from the historical society suggested that, perhaps a car or truck had hit the memorial, but it was just a guess.

I did find the other memorial in Bisbee at the local high school, and will feature it at another time.

Next time however, on the 3rd of August, we will return to California, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Alabama XIII

I had been headed for Montgomery to find the Vietnam memorial there. Calling ahead, as I sometimes do, I was told that it was currently inaccessible due road construction and other municipal work.

Disappointed, I turned a little east and north of Montgomery because the nice lady I spoke to in Montgomery said there was a memorial in Tallasee.

 Well, this rather striking memorial was mot too hard to find but photographing ot was quite another story. It was one of the hottest and brightest days I have ever seen and fighting the glare on the memorial turned out to be a losing battle.

The three markers contain the names of many who served in our various wars.

An unusual feature is the listing of what medals these brave soldiers received for service

Another unusual fact is that all who served or were lost are not listed as families had to pay for the listing and some, not surprisingly, chose not to do so.

Bricks have been engraved with names of others who served but there is no explanation for why some are on bricks as opposed to the wall of if they are listed on both.

Next time, on the 29th, we will return to Arizona, so meet 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.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Washington XVII

This is at least the third memorial I have found in Whatcom County and it is beautiful, and a bit confusing at the same time.

Set in this lovely memorial park it honors many of various wars.

 On this first wing, honoring all lost: world-wide deaths in the southeast Asia conflicts, American deaths, and Whatcom County deaths.

On this wing, the 28 names from Whatcom County.

 Pavers around the base name other who served.

The park may be found at King and E. Maryland Streets in Bellingham.

Next time, on the24th, we will return  to Alabama, so meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Virginia XIV

I have been on this journey for more than ten years now and during most of that time I have been aware of the Charlottesville, Virginia Vietnam memorial. It has been in and on my mind because it claims to be the oldest Vietnam memorial in the country. For all this time, I have said that I would just run down to Charlottesville and see it when I got a chance. It is not so very far from me that it seemed like a big deal. Kinda like living near DC and thinking, Oh I can go see the White House any time I want and then never doing it.

So, ten years slips by, nearly unnoticed.

If you have been following A Means to Heal for a while you may recall that several posts I have written from different areas of the country make the same claim of being the oldest or first Vietnam memorial.

The opportunity to visit Charlottesville finally presented itself and I jumped at the chance to confirm, or not, their claim.

 It has always been called the Dogwood Memorial and I was pleased to see that new Dogwoods have been planted all over the area.

 I like the fact that the area is referred to as The Hill That Heals echoing the name of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's (the folks that built The Wall in DC) The Wall That Heals. Not sure which came first, but I just like it.

Originally the memorial was dedicated to the  from the area thought to be lost and as is so often the case as time went on additional names were found and added to the original list.

The memorial has expanded over the years in to this most beautiful of sites and is, in fact, being worked on at this time.

I will post again about this sacred spot because there is a lot more here, but mostly because what they say seems to be true. Of all the memorials I have visited, hundreds and hundreds of them, this, in fact, the oldest one I have found.

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

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

WJFF 90.5fm

Recently I was in New York state photographing a few more memorials. While there I made a call to the local VVA and asked if they could point me towards memorials I might not know about. After a nice conversation with the VVA guy, he asked if I would speak to Doug Sandberg who broadcasts a show on the local Public Radio Station WJFF FM. I said sure and he said he would forward me contact information.

Shortly after, I received a call from Doug who wanted to know if I would be willing to be interviewed for his program,  Let's Talk Vets.

We arranged to set up a time and then did the interview.

So, tomorrow the 10th you will be able to hear some of the back story and history of A Means to Heal and a bit about my own times in 'Nam.

If you are in the New York, Catskills, area tune in to WJFF FM tomorrow, the 10th, at 7pm. If you are not in the immediate listening area, stream it at I do not know if it will be available after this date and time, so, if at all interested, check it out.

WJFF is Public Radio and is associated with American Public Radio, NPR, Public Radio International, and others.

Let me know what you think. I honestly don't know if I will tune in because like so many I just hate the sound of my own voice when I hear it recorded. On the other hand, I would like to see what makes the show. We talked for quite a while and I will be curious to see how it was edited.

Next time, on the 14th, we will get back to Virginia as previously promised.

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

Thursday, July 4, 2019

July 4, 2019

Most years I take a break from Vietnam memorials on special holidays and try to speak to other things. This year, on Independence Day, here is what's on my mind.

Today is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and our break away from England to become a new Nation.

This is completely wrong as any Historian will tell you.

The Declaration was signed in Philadelphia on July 2nd but the printer did not get around to printing it until the 4th, so...

No matter, I guess, except as a caution to be careful as to what you may believe or think you know.

Here's another. We believe we are the free-est of peoples, but according to the most recent American Legion magazine article by Alan W. Dowd, this is just not so.

According to the Human Freedom Index which factors in rule of law, freedom of movement, freedom of religion and a number of other "freedoms" the U. S. ranks number 17!

On the International Property Rights Index, we rank at number 14.

The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom: 12th.

On the Freedom House survey of political freedom we get a lower score than Canada, Costa Rica, Slovakia, Slovenia, France, and Finland.

The rest of Mr. Dowd's article is mostly a screed against government and you might agree or disagree, but my point is, not whether he is right or wrong, but, once again, be careful of what you think you know.

Some might argue that if you are not white and rich at the moment you are not doing as well as what we think our country promises us. Again a point argument will not decide if recent history is any indication.

So, I ask only that you do your homework, find out about what is happening in our country and the world. Research the various candidates and make a decision about for whom to vote.

Then Vote.

Too many of us say the parties are all the same and that it doesn't matter. But, it does and here is why. You may not think your vote matters and I know it is VERY easy to fall into this trap, but you know what?

Your boss is voting.

Your landlord is voting

Your banking officials are voting.

Your health care providers are voting.

The Insurance industry is voting.

The powerful interest groups are rallying their forces to vote.

The "military industrial complex" is voting.

Big oil is voting.

And, we out number them all, but only if we all educate ourselves and then, vote.

One final thing. No candidate is perfect, or embodies every single value or virtue we might want them to, or makes every decision just the way we might want them to, so you must find the person who most represents you, allow for their differences, and/or faults, and support them anyway.

Our way of life, our Democracy, our country, depends on it.

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

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