Friday, July 25, 2008
Viet Nam Memorial
The war in Viet Nam went on forever. Well, really, about sixteen years. 1959 until 1975. I remember my son, when he was about seven or eight, saying to me, "Mom, when I grow up, will I have to go fight in Viet Nam?" We had been at war since before he was born. I worried about that for quite a number of years. Our family was not touched by a death in Viet Nam but we, like almost everyone else, had many friends who weren't so blessed.
This week a neighboring town erected a replica of the Viet Nam War Memorial Wall in D.C. I've never seen the one in D.C., and decided to make a small pilgrimage to Wildwood to see it. I went early in the morning, trying to beat the heat and also the tourist traffic. I was a bit disappointed when I saw it. Don't know quite what I had expected, but this wasn't it. I think the problem was the setting. It was erected in a park full of sports equipment, and the background for it was a chain link fence along the sidewalk, and traffic moving past.
Still, When I walked along in front of the seemingly endless wall of names - hundreds and hundreds of names - it was a very moving experience.
Those of us who remember those sixteen years cannot help but wonder how long today's war will last, how many lives will be lost, how many of today's children will head out to God knows what, where will we find ourselves a few years from now....