2.  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 dedicated)

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.