On September 16th I went to view the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall at Resthaven Cemetery. I have not been to Washington, DC to see the actual Vietnam Memorial so I couldn't let this opportunity pass me by. Seeing the wall and the 58,000+ names took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. Seeing the Vietnam Veterans that were there touching the wall, reflecting on what happened got to my heart. I respect our Military, Veterans, and Fallen Heroes so very much. It hurts my heart that the Veterans from the Vietnam War were treated the way that they were when they returned from their service. I always want to shake each one of their hands, hug them, and tell them "Welcome Home Soldier"! Below is a video that GuideOne Insurance made of the motorcycle escort that the Dignity Wall had to Resthaven Cemetery. Finally the Veterans and Fallen Heroes are getting the RESPECT and DIGNITY that they deserve. I'm also including a poem that my Vietnam Veteran friend Hondo wrote. Thank you Hondo for allowing me to publish this on my blog.
INSIDE THE WALL
At first there was no place for us to go
until someone put up that Black
Granite Wall. Now, everyday and night,
my Brothers and my Sisters wait to
see the many people from places afar
file in front of this Wall. Many
stopping briefly and many for hours and
some that come on a regular basis.
It was hard at first, not that it's
gotten any easier, but it seems that
many of the attitudes towards that war
that we were involved in have
changed. I can only pray that the ones
on the other side have learned
something and more Walls as this one,
needn't be built.
Several members of my unit and many that
I did not recognize have called me
to the Wall by touching my name that is
engraved upon it. The tears aren't
necessary but are hard even for me to
hold back. Don't feel guilty for not
being with me, my Brothers. This was my
destiny as it is yours, to be on
that side of the Wall. Touch the Wall,
my Brothers, so that we can share
in the memories that we had. I have
learned to put the bad memories aside
and remember only the pleasant times
that we had together. Tell our other
Brothers out there to come and visit me,
not to say Good Bye but to say
Hello and be together again, even for a
short time and to ease that pain of
loss that we all share.
Today, an irresistible and loving call
comes from the Wall. As I approach
I can see an elderly lady and as I get
closer I recognize her It's
Momma! As much as I have looked forward
to this day, I have also regretted
it because I didn't know what reaction I
Next to her, I suddenly see my wife and
immediately think how hard it must
of been for her to come to this place
and my mind floods with the pleasant
memories of 30 years past. There's a
young man in a military uniform
standing with his arm around her......My
God!......It's has to be my son.
Look at him trying to be the man without
a tear in his eye. I yearn to
tell him how proud I am, seeing him
standing tall, straight and proud in
Momma comes closer and touches the Wall
and I feel the soft and gentle
touch I had not felt in so many years.
Dad has crossed to this side of the
Wall and through our touch, I try to
convey to her that Dad is doing fine
and is no longer suffering or feeling
pain. I see my wife's courage
building as she sees Momma touch the
Wall and she approaches and lays her
hand on my waiting hand. All the
emotions, feelings and memories of three
decades past flash between our touch and
I tell her
that it's all right.
Carry on with your life and don't worry
about me. I can see as I look into
her eyes that she hears and understands
me and a big burden has been lifted
I watch as they lay flowers and other
memories of my past. My lucky charm
that was taken from me and sent to her
by my CO, a tattered and worn teddy
bear that I can barely remember having
as I grew up as a child and several
medals that I had earned and were
presented to my wife. One of them is
Combat Infantry Badge that I am very
proud of and I notice that my son is
also wearing this medal. I had earned
mine in the jungles of Vietnam and
he had probably earned his in the
deserts of Iraq.
I can tell that they are preparing to
leave and I try to take a mental
picture of them together, because I
don't know when I will see them again.
I wouldn't blame them if they were not
to return and can only thank them
that I was not forgotten. My wife and
Momma near the Wall for one final
touch and so many years of indecision,
fear and sorrow are let go. As they
turn to leave I feel my tears that had
not flowed for so many years, form
as if dew drops on the other side of the
They slowly move away with only a glance
over their shoulder. My son
suddenly stops and slowly returns. He
stand straight and proud in front of
me and snaps a salute. Something makes
him move to the Wall and he puts
his hand upon the Wall and touches my
tears that had formed on the face of
the Wall and I can tell that he senses
my presence there and the pride and
the love that I have for him. He falls
to his knees and the tears flow
from his eyes and I try my best to
reassure him that it's all right and the
tears do not make him any less of a
man. As he moves back wiping the tears
from his eyes, he silently mouths, God
Bless you, Dad. God Bless, YOU,
Son. We WILL meet someday but in the
meanwhile, go on your way. There is
no hurry. There is no hurry at all.
As I see them walk off in the distance,
I yell out to THEM and EVERYONE
there today, as loud as I can, THANKS
FOR REMEMBERING and as others on this
side of the Wall join in, I notice that
the US Flag that so proudly flies
in front of us everyday, is flapping and
standing proudly straight out in
the wind today,
"THANK YOU ALL FOR REMEMBERING"
For he today, that sheds his blood with
me, shall be my brother.
Support your local Vietnam Veterans MC.
Thanks for the post.
Good turn out for the escort.
Respect for all Veterans that have answered the call to protect the USA.
I'm wiping a tear. Great Post.
I was with the escort. Was such an emotional ride.
Just got back from a 10 day Harley bike ride to DC from West Palm Beach, FL. Saw all 26 boys from Alpha Co, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines on that wall. I was platoon sergeant to 14 of them. It was a very emotional experience. Took me 42 years to get the courage to pay my respects, but not a day goes by I don't think of them.
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