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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Post Veterans' Day Post

The Moving Wall, a half-sized traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. is in town through the weekend, so Elle, Grice and I stopped by to see it after Grice got out of school yesterday. I regret that we didn't have time on our trip through D.C. last time to visit the permanent memorial, and after being present in 1985 for the very moving parade and dedication of the Florida memorial in Tallahassee, I wanted the girls to feel some small part of the experience.

My parents may have made a concerted effort to keep the TV turned off during that time or they may simply have preferred the newspaper to the evening news broadcast. I was in fifth grade in 1975 and never knew anything about Vietnam until high school.

At Jorge's house they sat glued to the screen, watching the draft numbers being called, hoping his older brothers' and cousin's numbers didn't come up. His brothers were lucky. Tommy wasn't. At his funeral ten years or so ago, the officiant reminded us of the two Bronze Stars he had earned and said that Vietnam had killed Tommy, it just took him longer to die.

"In memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice."

A collector presented a fascinating display of items including vehicles, weapons, uniforms, photos, and various memorabilia from our soldiers and the Viet Cong.

We saw men crying, people still reviling Jane Fonda, and so many names.

1 comment:

Carole said...

Even a cynical gal like me was humbled by the wall in DC. I must do on your next trip.