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.

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