Saturday, October 31, 2020

Delaware XV

As promised in my last post from California, I was able to make it back to Delaware. My first stop in The First State was in a town called Felton.

The site was easy to find although a little concealed by some trees. It sits on the corner of Main Street and Railroad Street.

I pulled right in to a small, apparently little used road beside the railroad tracks.

The memorial is one of the kinds I have really come to appreciate: small,intimate, obviously created by the people most involved with the lost.
Like so many small town memorials it is dedicated to many from the town who have been lost over the years.

Interestingly, the flag, as seen above, is attached to the limb of the tree so that it is always in an unfurled, motion like vi

Two from Vietnam are honored here.

As I was leaving the very kind police officer explained to me that this was not a disused road and was, in fact, a one way street and you can guess which way I was going. Well, he asked what I was doing and when I explained this project, he handed me a warning, thanked me for my service and sent me on my merry way. He really was very nice about it.

So, next time, on November 5th, we will venture back to Georgia, so join me there at 9:00am.

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

Monday, October 26, 2020

California XXXII

Santa Maria is about 2 and a half hours north of Los Angeles and you could spend a lot of that trip cruising up the Pacific Coastal Highway (PCH) a trip everyone should make at least once in their lives.

You will need to leave the PCH at about Santa Barbara to head a bit inland to Santa Maria.


The memorial called the Freedom Monument Veterans Memorial sits outside the Abel Maldonaldo Youth Community Center.

It came about because of casual conversation between a mother and a local official. Her son was lost in Nam and she feared that after she was gone, no one would remember him.


The memorial, like so many, has grown and become more inclusive over time, now honoring many from the area. This seems to be in keeping with the founding principle of Vietnam Veterans of America: "Never again will one generation of Veterans abandon another."


This site has more to see and I will come back to it at a not too distant future time.

The Community Center is located at 600 S. McClelland Street.

Next time around I hope to have gotten back to Delaware. I have tracked down a few more sites in "The First State" and will share one with you on the 31st, so join me then, as usual, at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Arizona XXVIII

I have written and posted before about finding a memorial under construction on the Tohono O'odham reservation in Arizona. You can find that post by clicking Arizona, on the left side of this page, and scrolling back to find it.

While there, an hour west of Tucson,  I stopped into a  vets org., American Legion, I think, and had a really great conversation with the young woman manning the office. She explained that the memorial was an on-going project and that it was hoped that it could be completed in the not too distant future.

She proudly showed me an artist rendition and a miniature mock up of the proposed memorial.


She also pointed out these "medals" but could not explain the hand written numbers upon them. any one know what these mean?


She took me into a back room and showed me the grave markers that the organization supplies for their veterans.


I have not been back to that part of Arizona (or anywhere else) for a while, but on my next visit I will make a point of returning to see if it has been completed. Watch this space!

Next time, on the 26th, we will return to California, so join me there 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.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Alaska VIII

This will be the last visit to this magnificent site in Anchorage and today I will share the second of the two panels here.

This portion speaks to The Great One: Denali, whose strength and majesty are one with the people and spirit of Alaska and her veterans.

The thirteen verticals represent the thirteen original states.

 The hands are from an "Honor Guard" releasing the great American Eagle.

The Eagle soars to the summit of Denali.

The panels are supposed to be viewed, touched and enjoyed from both sides of the panel.

So, I have told the story elsewhere on this site about the original Vietnam memorial that sat upon this spot and the legal issues that accompanied it, and posted more recently about the new memorial here to the 57 from the state who were lost in Nam. The site has expanded greatly, due in some part to those court rulings, and now honors all veterans in a much more dignified and memorable way.

This is my friend John Spitzberg standing at the list of names of those  lost in Nam. This trip would not have been possible without John's support and encouragement. In fact, John and I drove to Alaska from Maryland on my very first venture in to this project, so in many ways he is responsible for everything that came after. I an incapable of expressing enough gratitude to this veteran, adventurer, mentor, and friend.

It was moving and inspiring to revisit this site after many years and to those who created this wonderful memorial, hats off!

So, on the 21st we will revisit Arizona, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Sunday, October 11, 2020

West Virginia X

So, I made it to West Virginia recently as it is a relatively easy drive from where I live, no airplanes, no hotels. I went to a place called Capon Bridge.

West Virginia interests me because it had the greatest number of losses in Vietnam, per capita, of any state and yet I have had the most difficult time tracking down memorials to these men and women.

However, I have located this one and it is unique I think. There is a lot of poetry associated with Vietnam, with war in general and while I am sure that it is all sincere, heartfelt and deeply meaningful to those who wrote it, it is also mostly pretty bad. Maybe that's the nature of trying to write beautiful words about horrible things.


Now, having taken the chance on saying that, I want to add that I think this is not bad. In particular the line "song of death" well, that's just good!


The sentiments here. written 50 years ago or more. seem especially meaningful today.

The soldiers standing guard seem to represent the wars of West Virginia. One must remember that what is now the state at one time was part of Virginia, but broke off because it did not want to succeed from the Union, so the Union soldier here represents the first war for the state and all the rest of his companions followed. 


The memorial is located on Legion Street just off Cold Stream Road.

Next time, on the16th we will be as far from West Virginia as you can get. Meet me in Alaska, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Virginia XIX

I visited the Flame of Hope Memorial quite some time ago, but its beauty and dignity have stuck with me for years.

It is located near NAS Oceania, Virginia Beach, Virginia.


It was dedicated in 1972 as a beacon for all POWs and MIAs and in less than a year it will be 50 years old. I've read that it is in need of repair and have contacted some of those involved to see what its status might be. It is said that it will need to be moved during the repairs.


There is an covered guide to the site that is badly sun-faded and in need of renewal. It is on the list for repair.

This is nearby.

This guy zipped by as I was taking pics. He was quite a distance away so not so clear!


The memorial is located om Oceania Boulevard just north of the main gate to the NAS.

Next time, on the 11th, we will see what I can find, hopefully, I will get to West Virginia by then. If not, well, we'll see.

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

Thursday, October 1, 2020

South Carolina VII

I have written before about Patriots Point. I keep coming back to it because it is the one site I have visited that replicates, to some degree, actually being in 'Nam. the folks here have done a magnificent job of creating a Navy Technical Support Base. I know that there is something akin to this, Army I think, in Florida but have not yet been able to get there.

When this damn pandemic allows me to get back on the road, I hope to visit. Like many of us who were in country, I am highly susceptible to this stuff, so I wait, sometimes not as patiently as others.

The towers always attracts me, there is only one here and this is just a slightly different view of it.