The Wall - Anonymous (c) Veterans Corner on behalf of Anonymous
I was just over on your
Veterans Corner and thought I'd share another story with you about going
to DC several years ago. I was on a tour sponsored by a friend's
church, so it ended up being 29 Episcopalians, one renegade Presbyterian
and a million men marching, yes it was *that* weekend.
Several years ago I was
part of a tour doing the monuments in and around Washington D.C. One of
the longer stops was the Wall, the Nurses memorial and the new Korean
memorial. (actually we were there the weekend before the memorial was
Two young men from my town (population 2000) were killed in Vietnam. One
had been part of the Boy Scout troupe of which my father had been the
leader. While the boys were several years older than I, they spent a
fair amount of time at our house so I'd gotten to know them well.
It was a misty day in Washington when we visited, and I still remember
how bright, shiny and black the Wall had glittered. I didn't pay
attention on how to use the big directories for finding names and had
only gotten the panel and line number for the name I was looking for. A
lady park ranger found me standing, puzzled at the center point of the
Monument. She asked for what information I had. She grabbed my upper arm
and looked me in the face for a moment. Then she looked in both
directions along the Wall and said, "I think...this way." And
she lead me to the exact spot. Needless to say I was impressed and a bit
spooked. But she just shrugged and said that sometimes they just
wanted to be found.
I also found the story the ranger told me about the Nurses memorial to
be quite moving too: The memorial depicts four nurses each holding or
supporting a wounded service man. One of the G'ís being cradled in the
arms of a nurses has an cupped, upturned hand. Every day no matter the
weather, there's a fresh yellow flower in his hand. And the ranger said
that they've never been able to see or find out who leaves the flowers.
The other young man's death in battle all but tore one of the churches
apart. Because he didn't get last rites he was denied burial by the
local priest in the Catholic cemetery.