07/04/14

Difficult to find if you’re not familiar with Chicago but well worth the effort. Down on “River Walk” but with virtually no ready parking (4th of July) but a lot easier with the motorcycle (squeeze in). Down a flight of stairs to a small area with fountains and a wall with a list of names of our fallen Vietnam warrior brothers. The names are flanked with the Vietnam Service ribbon, has a fountain directly below the names along with a fountain leading up to it, and in the opposite direction is the river. Today there were party boats, jet ski’s, etc, and on tourist boat announcing that they were passing the Vietnam Veteran Memorial. At the Memorial there were a dozen or so reading the names and some families walking around looking at the fountains. I only spent about 20 mins there as I needed to let someone else park, but it was a quiet and thoughtful time. I often wonder if our fallen know that we care.

NEVER FORGET

07/06/14

The High Ground. This has got to b 20 mils out into the country — intentionally as thy wanted it to be a quiet healing place removed from the noise of people, cars, etc. They succeeded on all counts. A work in progress and one of the few privately funded memorials in the country. It covers everything INCLUDING a large Gold Star Garden. There is also a giant boot print in the process of being built that will symbolize a bunch of stuff — more on that in the future. The individual memorials are amazing. Each war, a Memorial to the Native American’s that served, the familis, everyone. I can’t remember the name of one specific one (I believe its called the (“Crying Place”) but its a soldier standing with his hand on a “Soldiers Cross” and in front of him seated a few feet away, is a new Gold Star wife, holding the folded flag. Next to her is a young girl, the new Gold Star Daughter. When I was there it was raining — resulting in tears coming down the faces of all 3. The impact on me was quit intense.

NEVER FORGET

07/06/14

I’ve canceled the Alaska leg (for this year). That leg alone, to see the one Memorial in Alaska, would cost the same as seeing 10. I can’t justify that.

The schedule will be completely changed this week. The bulk of the change will be just the dates — the route will stay the same.

Please watch the schedule page for the changes.

07/07/14

One of the Memorials tide into the Capitol — located on the Capitol grounds — a fairly large area — the Capitol grounds include more than one government building.. The Capitol itself is under going a major renovation so streets are a little blocked off but also making it difficult to find anything.

That said — the Vietnam Memorial is located in an area featuring all the other memorials but they each are very different and equally impressive — Minnesota should be proud!

Th ‘Nam Memorial itself is a wall of names but the words across the top give a very precise and specific message — “We were young. We have died. Remember Us”. A hell of a lot of a lot of meaning in a few words. And with all the names right below. A fitting tribute to a generation that was all but forgotten — maybe now they’ll be remembered.

Off to the side, almost separate from everything else, stands a lone soldier, dressed as we did in Vietnam, with hands hanging down, palms outward — you can add your own impression of what he’s saying. My impression — “here WE are, where are YOU”.

There is another Memorial close by for the Baatan Death March — with the words “Despair & Hope”. This should could be for all veterans and future warriors. And we should to that list — Blue Star and Gold Star Families. We often forget that more than the warriors are affected by these “events”.

NEVER FORGET