Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Day trippin' this summer: The Vietnam Memorial

On the Saturday before July 4th we visited the Vietnam Memorial in Angel Fire.
Why are some of the most sobering places on earth also the most beautiful?  I guess it's all in how you look at it.  Sad for so many families who lost sons and daughters, but happy in that they live on in their hearts at these scenic, peaceful places.
Situated on a hill, with a gorgeous view of the mountains.
Originally, the land was bought to create a resort.  But those plans were never to be, as the war altered things for this family forever. In fact, the parents are buried here at the site of the memorial.
"When sons or daughters die in battle, parents are confronted with the choice of what they will do to honor the courage and sacrifice of that son or daughter. Following the death of our son, Victor David Westphall, on May 22, 1968, in Vietnam, we decided to build an enduring symbol of the tragedy and futility of war."  Dr. Victor Westphall
And sadder still if you consider the whole of the Vietman experience for America.  I won't get into any of the politics - I was a small child went all of that occurred.  I remember it being on our black and white TV every evening - there was no escaping it, much like my kids' experience with the aftermath of 911.
It was a fitting field trip for us as it was just before a national holiday - there were flags everywhere, and visitors besides ourselves.  We saw an older gentleman wearing a cap with military insignia - probably a veteran, of which conflict I'm not sure.  Hubby thanked him for his service and the man looked pretty choked up.  
Hubby's dad served as a bomber pilot in WWII.
There was a statue of a young soldier writing a letter home - about the age of Scout, so it really made us pause and reflect.  Such a volatile time in American history and it hits really close to home if you have a child that's old enough to serve.  We spent time walking around and reflecting, so it was a fairly quiet afternoon for us.  But I'm really glad I got to visit this place and admire all of the beauty even as I pondered all of the sadness.

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