Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Than a Name on a Wall

This past Memorial Day weekend, we visited Virginia. One of the side trips was an afternoon spent in Washington DC. We went to Arlington Cemetery and journeyed across the Potomac to see the White House and the eastern third of the Mall.

Washington DC is a history buffs dream come true. It contains in one setting probably the largest collections of tributes and memorials to our country's heritage and history.

From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, from the Jefferson to the White House to Capital Hill, it's all there and more.

One of the more touching places on the mall is the Vietnam Memorial. The memorial is essentially a wall containing the names of United States men and women who gave their lives during the time the United States was engaged in Vietnam. The wall contains the names of 58,261 men and women.

The US engagement in Vietnam became at the time one of the more divisive events in our history and certainly in my lifetime. When the Memorial was first proposed and building began, there was a lot of chin music as to why it was necessary, cost and such.

Since it's completion, the memorial has been one of the healing places where people come to remember or for closure.

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