With the recent anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on our country and the ongoing battle in Afghanistan, I thought it only fitting to do a photo blog about the wars that have taken place in our nation’s history. There is much unrest in the world and every day we see something in the news about Syria or other countries where citizens are fighting for the rights that we often take for granted. Regardless of your personal stance on war or politics, it is always good to remember the fine men and women who sacrificed their lives for something they believed in. These photos should be a tribute to them so that we “never forget”…
The Vietnam War Memorial Wall. It is so large that it is hard to capture the entire thing in all of its magnitude from far away. If you have never seen it in person, it will take your breath away. There is a somber silence that hangs in the air at this site. I first saw this place on an eighth grade field trip and it was burned into my brain. When I returned to Virginia for Christmas a few years ago, my only request was to go to Washington, D.C. to see this Wall once again as an adult. It still holds a place in my heart as one of the greatest memories of my life.
It remains to be seen what the memorial will be that will recognize the sacrifices of those who have fought and died over these past wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan. It took a very long time for the men and women of World War II to finally get the recognition they deserved in their beautiful monument. I hope that it doesn’t take as long for our recent combat veterans to be memorialized.
These sites are beautiful and necessary in my opinion. They are a testament to our history and to each individual who gave of themselves to make this country great. Our time here on earth may be brief but these monuments will stand long after we are gone. They will continue to tell the tale of heroism, sacrifice and bravery. I read the names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall and wished that I could have met those wonderful people. I wanted to stay there for hours and just visit with them. I felt like they all had a story to tell me.
On 9/11 we held signs that said we would “never forget” but I often wonder how many people still live out that promise. Our lives have moved on and we have gone about the business of living. We all went back to work, back to raising our families and back to the daily grind of running errands, paying bills and voicing our opinions. The passage of time has a way of doing that.
As I walked away from the hallowed ground on that cold winter day, I knew that my soul had been touched once again just like when I was in eighth grade. It is comforting to know that as I lie on my sickbed typing this, those memorials still stand up there in Washington, D.C. touching the lives of all who see them. In a foreign land right now a soldier is dying and his or her name will be on a memorial someday. In the future, when a complete stranger looks upon that soldier’s name, I hope that they take the time to thank them for their service and assure them that their life had meaning. Afterall, we promised them that we would “never forget.”