Thursday, May 28, 2020

Ireland III

Something quite different today.

I have posted two memorials to the lost from Ireland in the past. For those who may not know thousands of Irish citizens came to the US (and Australia) specifically to join up and fight in Vietnam. One might only guess that it came from a deeply felt understanding of what it means to be occupied and live under the boot of another country, or oppressing force. Some 30 lost their lives and are remembered on The Wall in D.C. and elsewhere around the country and the world.

So on my last visit to Ireland our guide and friend knew of my interest in Memorials to Vietnam, she, in fact, took me back to Tipperary to revisit and rephotograph the memorial there.

One evening she said to me "Be ready at 7:30, I'll pick you up, I think there is something here in Thurles you'd like to see."

So, bright and early the next morning I was up and waiting. 7:30 on the dot, Mary pulled into the place we were staying. She drove me through the town and to a cemetery at a local church.

St Mary's dates back to 1292, can you imagine?

She showed me a stone wall that runs around two sides of this ancient cemetery.

The main plaques that are embedded in the stone represent many Irish involvements and honor events in Irish history.

The Easter Uprising of 1916 which led, unknown to its summarily executed leaders, to Irish independence.

There are also memorials to WWI, WWII and a number of other wars in which the Irish participated, often as part of U.N. forces, currently up through Lebanon. There is a Howitzer sitting nearby, too.

So, all these and memorials to An Gorta Mor (the great famine) are very interesting to me, but like you (I bet) I was beginning to wonder what all this had to do with Vietnam?

As I was looking at this wall, I noticed two guys just standing and talking a little ways off. I thought this a little odd for early in the morning in a cemetery, but really didn't give it too much thought. Mary and I drifted over nearer to them and started up a conversation. Turns out one of them was the guy who was behind this whole project.

He explained that they did not yet have a memorial to those who served and the 30 that died in Vietnam, but that the whole wall effort was because he had stood at the The Wall in DC. He was so impressed and touched that he decided to create his own wall in Thurles.

It just occurred to me as I write this that it was probably no accident that he was in the cemetery that morning, I suspect that Mary made it happen.

Next time, on the 4th, we will revisit Maryland, so, meet me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." JFK.

The following is a repost of one written in 2013. I think it is still appropriate and needs not to be changed or explained. the original post had only one pic of flags, few new pics have been added.

The practice of decorating the graves of soldiers is an ancient one. The origins of Decoration Day, as it was first called, has a long and varied history in the United States. Decorating the graves of fallen soldiers was practiced at different times, in various ways, sometimes depending on what part of the country one resided.

Around the time of the Civil War, the practice became more common and legend has it that the first observance happened in Virginia in1861. There is actual documentation of a ceremony in Georgia in 1862.

The first National Decoration Day was proclaimed in 1868 and events were held in 183 cemeterys in 27 states. Remember that a number of states were still territorys and not admitted to the Union for quite some years. An interesting fact is that the first Memorial Day Parade was held in Irontown, Ohio in that year and has been held every year since.

As time moved on the day became about honoring any one who had died in service and still later to remembering anyone who was lost in any way.

The name "Memorial Day",  was first used in 1882 and became more common after the second World War.  The change was not made official until 1967. A year later the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passes and May 30th was no longer the official date of the remembrance.

Over the many years this day has gone from honoring our war dead to a beginning of summer celebration, so as you enjoy the long weekend, take just a moment to remember all of those who have given up their lives in defense of our country. Regardless of our feelings about any specific war, those we remember made a sacrifice that we who are celebrating did not have to make and if we don't remember fewer and fewer may be willing to serve.

Next time, on the 28th, we will revisit Ireland, so meet me there, as always, at 9:00am.

To see post from any state in the Union please click on a state name on the left side of this page.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Hawai'i' VII

I wrote some time ago about the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.

While there as I wondered through the Cemetery of the Pacific, I happened to come upon other, less viable statements of honor and respect for our brothers and sisters.

In other posts I have written about the fact that I was honored to be allowed to paint in the name of my buddy on the Wall we dedicated here in my county a couple of years back. Until I started writing this post, I didn't quite realize how important that part of the process actually is. These names and the honor they require might be easily missed had they not been contrasted as they are on the memorial here, the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. and many other sites around the country. You will see the importance in some of these pics.

The Gardens as they are called line the steps from the crater to the memorial at the top.

This is from inside on garden across the steps to the new Vietnam Memorials, the flags and another garden to the right of the Vietnam memorial. The Gardens are small green areas enclosed by these walls that honor more than 28,000 lost in our various wars.

This one is dedicated to the Army lost in Vietnam. Close examination will reveal names and additional info, but also the importance of the aforementioned contrasting. (Click on the picture to enlarge)

This one is a Navy dedication wall with one name contrasted. I could find no explanation for this anywhere. It is the only one I saw, but I guess there could be more elsewhere.

Here is the name fro closer inspection.

Hawai'i' needs no explanation as to why you should visit, but The Punchbowl is one place you should visit.

Next time, on Memorial Day weekend, I'll post something appropriate and, hopefully interesting. Join me at 9:00am.

To see additional posts from Hawai'i', or any other state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Georgia XVII

Fort Benning, Georgia is the home to the Infantry Museum and Steve and I decided to visit while on base photographing other memorials.

It is a vast depository of artifacts commemorating the role of the Infantry in our history.

Along with the usual weaponry and other paraphernalia that one would expect, I found a few things that especially spoke to me.

I found this map interesting not only because of the unusual look but also the information given. Note that it dates the war from 1960 to1975. again, differences  span depending upon whom you ask, as I have noted many times on this site. Below the heading these is a timeline of sorts beginning in 1945 which is correct, but no mention of the first soldier being killed in 1956, a fact often mentioned here, but too often missing on other recounting of the war.

This simply speaks for itself.

This is just touching.

No comment needed.

The light was very poor in the museum, for photographic needs anyway, so many shots were just not useable here. If you get the chance the museum is well worth a visit.

Next time, on the 18th, we will return to Hawai'i', so join me there at 9:00am.

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

Friday, May 8, 2020

Alabama XVI

This is a repost of April 8. For some reason the pictures either disappeared or never posted, I am unsure which. Someone please let me know if you cannot see these three pictures.

I rolled into Cullman County, Alabama on a wet, rainy, dismal day. I have occasionally bragged on this site about how I have never been "weathered" out of a photo shot. I have been wet, cold, hot, knee deep in snow and all too frequently, miserable, but I always get my pics: I never know if I will ever get back to a particular location again.

Well, all that aside, this was a day that nearly broke my streak, just lousy. Then even after taking every precaution I could, I was not too happy with the resulting shots.

These are a couple that I think are OK.

Originally there was a mobile memorial that over time morphed into this one. The first memorial, 32 feet long, was constructed of painted plywood by group members of the VVA, in 1989 for that year's Veterans Day parade in downtown Birmingham.

Its popularity led the chapter to commission a new, more durable version of imported black granite. The 28-foot-long, 4-foot-tall, 5,880 pound monument is inscribed with the names of 1,209 Alabamians who died during the Vietnam War between 1963 and 1975.

As stated here on a number of occasions this number might be somewhat higher if the counting began with the death of the first soldier in 1956.

Next time, on the 13th, we will return to Georgia. Join me, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Florida XXI

Sebastian sits right on the water in Florida as does so much else. Here, however, also rests a memorial to many from various wars.

There are several of these triangular markers that bear only the conflict name, no names of the those who served or those who were lost.

One man from Sebastian was lost in 'Nam. His name is not recorded at the site so I will name him here:

SST. William E. Roller

There is little available information about this memorial or SST. Roller so, as always, if you know any info, I would love to know it and update this post.

These names are among those listed om surrounding paver stones. these stones are usually sold to honor someone and help raise funds for the memorial, either to build it or maintain it.

The memorial is located in Riverside Park.

Next time, on the 8th, we will see a repost of an Alabama post that had issues, so as always, join me there at 9:00am.

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