Sunday, September 26, 2021

Pennsylvania XXXV

I have posted from Bedford before and you can find that post elsewhere on this site. I returned because I learned that an addition was made to the existing memorial.

The addition is a tribute to Robert Hartsock. He was a dog handler who in an act of unimaginable courage and love threw himself on a satchel bomb to protect others. He survived the blast and lay down additional fire to protect his comrades. He died while still firing his weapon. His dog, Duke, died along side him.

This, alone is quite a story, but as I started reading up on him, it became even more interesting.

It seems West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania all claim he is a native son.. It does seem that he went to Everette High School near Bedford, at least according to the local newspaper. I have been unable to determine where he was actually born.

The statue sits in the Bedford Veterans Grove directly across from the courthouse, on Julianna Street, in Bedford.
One of the reasons it was placed where it was is that the town realized that many visitors walked up to the existing memorial and then walked on, they never looked at the back where many names are listed.

One of the more interesting features of the monument is the circular impressions on its base. Vietnam veterans from the area were asked to come and put their thumbprints in the design. I have never seen anything quite like this in a memorial before.

A film was made about Bob Hartsock called Forgotten Heroes: The Robert Hartsock Story (2019) - IMDb , that you can find several places on the internet, including obviously IMDb above.

Robert Hartsock was awarded the Medal of Honor, the only dog handler to ever receive the nation's highest military honor.

Next time, on the 1st of October, we will return to Virginia. Meet me there, as usual, at 9:00am.

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Maryland XXXII

On a visit to Williamsport to see my granddaughter perform in a concert at the local American Legion, I discovered that right outside the building was a memorial. It consists of several components including one to Vietnam. 

It was late when we were there so I made a trip back specifically to see and record the memorial.

The statue had just been placed and was the reason for the concert mentioned above.

The soldier is edged by several markers, each to a different war.
Note the dates here as in so many places they differ from the actual dates of the war.  
There are no names here and one hopes that means no one from this town was actually lost and that this is just an honorarium to all who served. Sadly, a little research shows that this is not the case. LCPL. Kenneth Lamar Deavers jr. and PFC John Franklin Hutzell were both lost. 


As is often the case, someone has visited and left a memento. I find is comforting that people still remember and care.

Next time, on the 21st, we will return to Pennsylvania, so meet me there at 9:00am.

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

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Delaware XVIII

Fewer than ten miles northeast of Wilmington, right along the Delaware river, is Claymont.

In the news recently for the dedication of a beautiful memorial to those lost in the GWOT, the town also has a POW/MIA memorial.

Located on Commonwealth Avenue near E. Brandywine, it rests in the middle of the median strip. I find this just a little odd and can find no information about its placement or history.

Simplicity itself and yet still dignified and important.

While not actually Vietnam specific the whole POW/MIA issue seems to have grown out of the Vietnam war and these memorials will always scream 'Nam to me.

Next time, on the 21st, we will return to Maryland, so meet me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, September 11, 2021

September 11th, 2021

Twenty years ago today the unimaginable happened. The United States, the leader of the free world, the most powerful nation perhaps ever was stunned, attacked and, briefly at least caught unaware.

Every year I write something and feature a memorial from somewhere. Did you know that every state in the Union has at least one memorial to those lost on that fateful day? I have not seen them all by any shot and some of the ones I have seen I have posted here over the years. They are frequently magnificent, sometimes simple, and always very emotional.

I just read this past Tuesday about a memorial to the seven Irish lost and also to honor first responders, that was built in Waterford, Ireland. It features a section of girder from the World Trade Center. Waterford is considered Ireland's first city.

While visiting Arizona not so long ago I saw two. One is in Wesley Bolin Park across from the Capitol, in the same park the State Vietnam Memorial is located. It is spectacular and you should go see it.

If you do, drive a couple of hours south to Tucson and there by itself with no fanfare, not even a sign, is this one.

Often referred to, incorrectly, as the Avatar memorial due to the Spielberg movie of the same name, it was actually in place a number of years before that movie was released.

Eight high school students and Tucson artist David Campbell spent part of the summer of 2002 creating and installing a blue angel hoisting a globe overhead -- a tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The figure emerges from rubble, and a slab is labeled "Together We Rise."

So, today 20 years later we are older, if not wiser, and we would do well to remember those lost as it seems every state as done in some way. 

I didn't personally know anyone lost on that day but 11 of my neighbors from my area were lost at the Pentagon and I have posted previously about the magnificent memorial we have here.

The sadness in the angels eyes reflects I think the sadness we must all remember and feel on this 20th anniversary of this tremendous loss.
Next time, on the 16th, we will revisit Delaware, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am.
To see additional Vietnam memorials from any state, please click the state name on the left side of this page.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Colorado XXXII

We have visited Thornton before and you can find that post elsewhere on the site. Today, however, we visit the Thornton Veterans Aquatic Center adjacent to the memorial.

Inside is their Veterans Memorial dedicated to all from the Adams (County) 12 Five Star Schools. 
While it honors all, four of the five listed here are all casualties of Vietnam.

Vietnam Veterans of America always has said that "Never again would one generation of veterans leave another behind," so in that spirit I will include the only other name listed on this memorial. He deserves the remembrance and respect of us all, especially in light of all that is happening today.

I had a fellow walk up to me one day and ask when I was going to start photographing memorials to the more recent wars. He was clearly a vet and I said, "Well. perhaps that is your job!" Today, however, I feel perfectly comfortable including this brave young man here.

The larger memorial outside and the Aquatic Center are located at 5310 E.136th Avenue.

Next time, on the 11th, I will, as I always do, post something about 9/11. So, join me then to see this year's post at 9:03am.

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

Thursday, September 2, 2021

California XXXVI

Moorpark Veterans Memorial is located about 12 miles ENE of Camarillo, California.

The memorial itself lists no names but displays the badges of the services.




But, along side the walkway are three stones.

The first of these is a general dedication stone telling the story of the efforts to place a memorial.

The second lists the name of a number of those lost to various wars. While no particular war is listed, I checked and at least some of these, our comrades, were lost in 'Nam.

The text, hard to see here, reads:
"Our Fathers, Brothers, Sons, Friends And Comrades In arms Who Have Gone Before Us. We Live As Free Citizens In A World Made Better
By These Men Who Did Not Faulter (sic) In the Face Of death.
We Salute You"
The third and final stone tells a somber story, although it is as any one of us might, sadly, have predicted.
I actually visited here some years ago, I wonder how many more names have been added to the stone that was to have been forever blank?
The memorial may be found at the intersection of Spring Road and Finn Avenue.

Next time, on the 7th, we will return to Colorado, so meet me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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