Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Wall

The picture is of the Wall with a reflection of DH and Junior.
The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Experience came to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery this weekend. I have been wanting to see this for a while and was glad when I saw the signs and read the article in the paper about it. We are headed to DC this summer and the original memorial is on our list of things to see.

The display was unbelievable. Surrounded by American flags, it was hard to believe that there were 58,356 names engraved on there. To even fathom that that many American lives were lost over there just amazes me. It was a very moving experience and to see other Vietnam Veterans find their buddies names and make a rubbing was hard. Families left medals and newspaper articles about their loved ones. At the end of the day all of these items are gathered and placed in a special casket that will be buried at the cemetery. There was a tent setup full of memorabilia that one woman has collected over the years telling about her son Michael E Schafernocker. She wanted people to know her son and she took young men by the hand and showed them different items that would be of interest to them such as the spark plug helicopter. She hugged young soldiers and old and took the time to answer any questions she could about her son. It was very emotional to watch....

I am embarrassed to say that I don't know a whole lot about the Vietnam War, but I plan on changing that. I know the basics that I learned in school, but being a business major history was not a required subject so I took it to fill an elective spot during summer school at our local community college the first summer I was home. I don't even think we broached the subject. I explained to the girls what I knew and promised them that we would find out more information about other soldiers that were listed on there.

There was a booklet that was handed out and I read through it and it spoke about the Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. The VVA's Founding Principle is "Never again shall one generation of veterans abandon another." Just the thought of what happened during the Vietnam era is enough to bring a tear to anyone's eye.....

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