07/09/14

Back on the road after an extra day off for some much needed rest.

The Bismark Memorial is located aboard the Capitol Grounds and very easy to find. Its a combined Memorial — WWI thru present and consists of panels of the heroes broken down by war — ending with current conflict with, sadly, an open ending date.

The panels, labeled by war, are surrounded by columns that are holding up the cube and the dome. The whole display is open to the outside and is set in a tree filled expanse off to the side of the Capitol. No matter which way you look, you see open areas full of trees — I believe it gives the sense of freedom. There is a bronze globe (of the world) in the center. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the sun shins on the globe. Another piece of real planning, thought and respect.

There were 4 people there when I visited but only one was a vet. He said that he comes there once a month to visit his brothers. We talked a little and found that we were “in country” at the same time (me on my second tour, his only tour). His unit was about 4 miles from mine (Army) but we likely never crossed paths. I’m not that up on Army units but I believe he was with engineers (building and blowing up). Compared notes and thoughts, discussed others in our respective units, relaxed a little, and then went our own ways. This kind of meet up makes the trip, for me, more worthwhile.

NEVER FORGET

07/12/14

For the 3 rd time in 8 days I had some health issues. They are minor but I have returned to California to see my doctors to see what they think. I spent a great deal of thought before making this decision as it wasn’t an easy one.

I will post an overview of the NFR to date along with some info about the physical portion of the ride in a day or two — too tired tonight.

07/25/14

Working around my “break” time and I was able to get to a couple of Memorials. Today was Portland, Or. Relatively easy to find (with the help of some people that had just found it themselves).

This Memorial is on the side of a hill that is all grass and trees — plenty of space for anyone that’s looking for some quiet relaxing time. I doubt if it was intentional, but above these people are the names of those from Oregon that died protecting their freedoms, and now, watching over them.

But by far the thing I noticed above all was one of the individual Panels. There are 10 individual Panels with the names of the KIA and POW/MIA from each year. Two of the pictures I sent to Twitter today was the Panel for 1968/1969. Take into consideration that my second tour in ‘Nam was more or less from the middle of ‘68 to the middle of ‘69. This one panel gives you a real example or lesson in the Vietnam War and the amount of our young people that made the ultimate sacrifice. When you look at this twitter picture feed for today, and you look at those names — again, just from Oregon — that one half of them made that sacrifice JUST while I was there. I’m not implying that I knew these heroes, I’m stating simply that one half of the names you see died in just 6 months.

 

07/26/14

Very difficult to find. Building the monument is important. Maintaining the monument is important. Finding the monument is important.

A simple monument near where the 1974 Worlds Fair was hosted (I believe). The list of names of the Fallen with a lone soldier sitting atop the monument. Reflecting on the loss? Wondering about his family left behind? Wondering about his brother’s families now alone in the world — no husband, father, brother. A loss many do not and have not ever understood. There will b a time when there are no more wars. There has to be that time as we CAN NOT continue to lose our brothers.

My emotions are getting the best of me and its getting harder and harder to remember. Please — NEVER FORGET our past and future.

NEVER FORGET!