Memorial - Albuquerque, NM 09/21/14
What a Memorial - covers a large area with salutes to the memories of all our heroes for our wars starting with WW1. It includes everyone and in some cases is broken down to which units they servd with. There is a path that takes you from the Museum thru the park to assorted tributes. There are tributes to all the services from different groups here, as well as some from individuals, and to individuals. A tribute to the Pearl Harbor survivors as well as the Tuskegee Airman. The Cold War, the Eigth Air Force and more. You'd be hardpressed to find anyone missing - as it should be.
In the museum, instead of a wall with the names of our Vietnam KIA's, they have a photo of each warrior. They have uniforms donated (of the KIA's) by the families, historis of some of the Fallen along with photo's and stories of the Medal of Honor recipients from New Mexico. There is a note from a warrior to his family (its in the photo's) - there is a library for reading the hundreds of books that have been donated, photo's, memories.
This is also not the only Memorial in New Mexico but it exemplifies the commitment they hav to our warriors.
Memorial - Pueblo, Co 09/20/14
Pueblo has more than one Memorial but I selected the one I thought was most encompassing. This Memrial is between tow on way streets (which I realized as I was going the wrong way!) . Its very well maintained and visible for a LONG ways. 3 granite slabs hold the names of the Colorado KIA's with all the flags behind them. Off to one side there is a "Freedom Tree" donated by the family of a Marine Captain KIA in North Vietnam in Sep 1968. A true living Memorial. There is also the only woman from Coloradokilled in 'Nam - she was killed when terrorists bombed our Embassy in Saigon in 1965. She was the secretary to the CIA Chief of Station and the separate Mmorial is very appropriate. It reminds you not only that women died in this war but some casualties were not military. And, terrorism is not new.
A quiet bautiful spot where our warriors can be seen and visited by all.
Special Memorial - Oklahoma City 09/18/14
Not a Memorial to our Military but a Memorial to a terrorist attack. The Oklahoma City Bombing of the Federal Building.
Since this Memorial is different then what I've been doing, the impact was severe. I had a private tour by the head of security and he set the stage for me to really have an experience. I can only highlite a few things right now due to time (its late an I have a long run tomorrow).
Outside of the Museum you have a beautiful reflecting pool - one side has rows of chairs. One chair for each person killed that day. A chair with a name - except - there are some chairs with two names. These chairs have the names of the pregnant Mom's who's child was full term and they'd already named the baby. Both those names are on the individual chair. Their are two size chairs - one for the adults, one for the child (19, I believe). There is a long wall (fence actually) with mementos left by people that were effected by what they experienced. And more. Inside the museum covers 3 floors and isn't done yet. Videos of what went on that day, news coverage including the trials of the terrorists involved. A tap recording of the meeting going on that day, ending with the sounds of the explosion, the screams, the people stepping up to help. Photo's of one of the 1 year old baby being carried out by a fireman - pronounced DOA when the baby got to the hospital. Graphic photo's of the area before and after the explosion. Debris and personal affects that were found afterward. Clothing that was hardly damaged but the person wearing them was. A completely demolished office but with a Mister Coffee with a full urn, unspilled. Picture after picture. I can only wonder what it was like for the fireman and rescuers on site that day.
I spent the bulk of the time unable to talk, sometimes unable to see, sometimes both. DOZENS of people in the museum but totally quiet. An experience you must see for yourself. I will publish all th photo's I took ASAP but you should google this site - and you should visit this site.
Memorial - Oklahoma City 09/18/14
Today was hampered by a couple of rain storms. On the bike rain can be a hassle but I'm fairly used to it. NORMALLY not a big deal - twice today it came down so hard for at last 15 minutes that I had to look straight down at the fog line just to get off the road. When there is zero visibility, your confidence evaporates RAPIDLY. But by running between the down pours I was able to get into Oklahoma City and to the Memorial.
Combined Memorial covering all wars starting with the Spanish American and ending with the blank space for current conflict. JUST focusing on the Vietnam War - the single statue of a soldier, a wall brass relief showing beginning and ending years of the Vietnam War, a couple of panels of names of the Fallen Heroes - all in the shadow of the Supreme Court Building. Appropriate. Very quiet even though its a high traffic area including being next to a parking lot. Some ongoing construction but no interference with the Memorial. A couple of people came by to ask if I needed anything. I took about 30 minutes just sitting there and thinking AGAIN about the names on all the Walls around the nation. The fact that so few understand the sacrifices is really sad. Remembering should not be done just by those of us directly effected, but by all. Then maybe we would have less wars or conflicts. We spend more time trying to justify wars then we do ending wars. American History should be taught in all grades with a required passing grade. Glorify our warriors, not our wars. Glorify our veterans, not our sports figures, athletes, etc. Most of all...