06/23/14

Not an easy place to find and when I did, getting into the area was even more fun. Apparently, earlier in the day, there had been some event in the area — everyone was gone — but some of the street was designated one way — and for me it was the wrong way. I finally just ignored all the cones and lights and drove in. Well worth the effort.

LARGE park area with one area for the Memorial — park and walk in on a path thru the trees — lots of trees and bushes with lites for when its dark. You come to a large wall and go to either side down a path to a tunnel into the Memorial. Breathtaking. Inside the first thing you see is is a very large bronze statue — standing is a soldier in our combat gear, on the ground is one of our fallen being tended to by a nurse/medic/Corpsman. The standing soldier is reaching towards the fallen — not sure if he’s asking the “Doc” to help, or just reaching for his friend.In the center is a large tree — adding a softness to the scene — and the area is surrounded by the wall with all the names of the Jersey fallen and MIA’s. Th wall is on a level reached by stairs so you can walk around and read the names, look at the statue from different angels, or just look and remember. The way this is built is pretty much so that you are being protected by these heroes while you remember them, and, the War. I can only imagine what this place would feel like after dark.

6/24/14

Small town America — small in size, rural in nature, dedicated to America and its heroes. A park at one of the intersections, visible to all that travel the area.

Large plaque dedicating it to our brothers and sisters with a single soldier on top. You can walk straight in or follow the path into an area with other dedications including the Vietnam War. This plaque has the names of the KIA and MIA from this part of the state and on top of it is a soldier carrying a small child. This, by the way, many of the Vietnam warriors did — comforting children. It gave us brief moments of humanity — gave us a chance to think of our families at home, put little sanity into our lives for a few moments, and I think helped us to remember what we were doing. Regardless of how war is killing the bad guys, there are plenty of innocents that we must protect. These are tender moments and I would think that every vet was affected by these moments — and still are.

06/24/14

2nd Memorial for today. I was met by “On Eyed Jack”, a Navy Vet, a Vietnam Vet, and, a RFTW brother. We met “on the fly” and he guided me into this cemetery and then escorted me around. This place is HUGE and has about 30 different Memorial’s within its grounds. Although I visited several, my primary purpose this trip is the Vietnam War so I focused on that one location. You could spend days at a location like this.

The Memorial is very simple in nature — keeping your thoughts on the names of the Rhode Island boys and girls. A number of marble slabs each with lots of names. Plain in color — it makes the focus that much stronger. Feelings have a tendency to overwhelm every now and then when you realize how many have been lost (and how many still are). There a are a few momentoe’s left here but it looks like its picked up almost daily. A list of names from just one battle stands out and you realize how many we lost. Over and over. NEVER FORGET.

The grave markers here are all ground level — no upright so you can’t see how many are buried here but it has to be a few hundred thousand. This place goes back to the beginning of our country. All the Memorials have their own grove of trees which again, helps your focus but also brings it all together. Can you imagine how big an area it would take to bury ALL of our veterans together? We should do that — bury all of our veterans in one huge circle — with our seat of government in the middle. Make ALL the politicians walk thru it on the way to do their jobs — no transportation — walk only. And their offices should all face outward so they can think about these vets BEFORE they get us into war. The cost of war is a hell of a lot higher than money. Visual aids are a hell of a lot better than pie charts.

NEVER FORGET

06/25/14

The South Boston Memorial is completely enclosed behind an iron fence. No entrance but completely visible and the fence adds a certain amount of respect — protect those who protected us. The lone marble slab has a very important inscription on the bottom that should be on every Memorial — encompasses what I’m trying to say and do.

This is a residential neighborhood and there were several people out walking their dogs, sitting under the tree’s just kicking back, socializing. Just before noon. Since its a park, it must be busy as the devil on a weekend or holiday which I think is pretty cool. Even if you’re not there for the purpose of visiting, you can still see the fallen monument — a background reminder. I like the idea of a public park as it has more visitors — plus people looking for it can find it easier. The park is part of peoples lives and probably has more visitors because of it. Although its a park, it still seemed to have the quiet reflectiveness that any Memorial has.

NEVER FORGET