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War MemorialsAn article by Tom Gilbert - copyright ©May, 2016
On a cool, cloudy and misty spring morning I walked the length of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington D.C. My seven year old daughter accompanied me on the solemn, slow stroll. The wall, inscribed with 50,000 names of soldiers killed in the war and listed in chronological order, increases in height until you reach the midpoint and then the wall begins a gradual descent.
The architect, Maya Lin, was criticized by many when her memorial was first created. But time and her simple design have helped to heal many. I found the experience of traversing the distance of the wall to be very moving. The enormity of life lost and the sacrifices made by so many filled my eyes with tears. I knew my daughter didn’t really understand what we were visiting, but she sensed the significance. War is not glorious, but certainly we must remember and pay tribute to those who’ve served our country, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. That is what Memorial Day is about.
There are many war memorials in the United States. A few, such as the Vietnam Wall, are in Washington D.C. On the National Mall you can find the World War II Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. In New Mexico where I live there is a Memorial Park in Albuquerque and also a very impressive Vietnam Vets Memorial and Chapel in Angel Fire.
are created to help us remember. They are visible testimonials. When we
reflect on the lives of people killed in war it is important to
recognize the importance of service. Perhaps someday wars will end and
we will have lasting peace. So many men and women have given their
lives in pursuit of this, to fight to keep us free. The average life
expectancy these days is around 80 years. Not so for many soldiers who
died in the prime of their lives. Warriors have to be prepared to die
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