“The Wall” 25 Years Later

November 5, 2007

One of the first memorials that I wanted to see, the first time I visited Washington D.C. was the Vietnam Wall. The name of a family friend is on that wall and I immediately found his name. I remember many people from my hometown going off to Vietnam. I remember 2 of my Uncles serving, one who served in Vietnam and the other served as a nurse in the military hospital in Honolulu, caring for wounded as they arrived back in the US. I remember how proud I was of all of them then, and how proud I am of them today. I remember watching in horror on television, as people, many only a couple of years older than myself, protested our Troops as they returned home and treated them horribly. I remember wondering what in the hell was wrong with those people, much like I wonder about the anti-war protestors of today.

I remember clearly, as I walked up to “The Wall,” what I was thinking. What a sacred place it was, how beautiful “The Wall” appeared, as the afternoon sun glinted off of it’s black surface and what a fantastic tribute it is, to the men and women who lost their lives, who gave their all for our country, in Vietnam. I remember thinking how sacred this memorial is, not only to me, but especially to the men and women who stood besides these fallen warriors, to their families and friends. How sacred it should be to each and every American.

It’s been 25 years since the Vietnam Memorial Wall was dedicated. Many things have taken place over that period of time and a lot has changed in this country. But “The Wall” remains, standing as a beacon, honoring those fallen Warriors who so gallantly gave their lives in Vietnam, reminding us of what they gave for our country. This year, Vietnam Veterans of America are hosting the 25th Anniversary Parade, in celebration of the dedication of “The Wall.” The parade will be held on Saturday, November 10th, 2007. Opening ceremonies will begin on the National Mall at 10am and, between Jefferson and Madison Drives in Washington D.C. The parade will begin at 11am and last until approximately 4pm. Thousands of participants are expected. Throughout the day, there will be various activities and vendors on the Washington Monument Grounds.

This will be a special time. A time to remember those who served during the Vietnam War, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. This parade, in many ways, will be the “Welcome Home” that these warriors so rightly deserved, yet never received, as they returned home. Starting November 6th, through Veteran’s Day on November 11th, special events, suching as the reading of the names on “The Wall,” will be held. Please visit the The Vietnam Veterans of America website for information on all of the events that will be occurring during this next week.

This event should offer us time to reflect. To reflect on the terrible treatment these men and women received when they returned home to “the world.” It should be a time as well, to reflect on the men and women who are serving today, again in a foreign land and know that these Warriors are serving, as the men and women who served during Vietnam served, with honor, pride, dedication and loyalty to our country. This event, will give us the opportunity to finally pay Honor and Respect to these brave Warriors, as well as the brave Vietnam Era Warriors who are still living and never received the “Welcome Home” that they so rightly deserved. It should be a time for us to reflect and to vow …… Never Again will the Warriors who serve our country come home to what our Vietnam Warriors did.

As a special way to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of “The Wall” and the memorial events that will be taking place, the Vietnam Veterans of America have teamed up with Boston Publishing Company to create a special commemorative book, titled simply, “The Wall. This book will showcase many famous photographs that have been published about “The Wall.” As well, there will be special feature articles and photo essays that document the history of “The Wall,” from it’s inception in 1982 to it’s place today as the most visited memorial at our nation’s capital. Included in this special book will be essays and reflection on the Vietnam War, interviews with Medal of Honor recepients, letters and mementoes from Maya Linn. All proceeds from the book will go to assist The Vietnam Veterans of America’s charitable causes, which include outreach programs, benefits assistance and housing programs for Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghan War and Iraqi War Veterans. To pre-order your copy of the book, for only $10, plus $2.95 shipping and handling, please visit The Vietnam Veterans of America 25th Anniversary Keepsake page.

This is an event, that if all possible, you should attempt to attend. If you’re in the Washington D.C. area, please take the time to attend the Parade and the other events and help give our Vietnam Veterans the kind of Welcome Home that they deserve. If you’re unable to attend, don’t hesitate to go up to a Vietnam Vet, shake his or her hand and tell them “Welcome Home and Thank You!”


7 Responses to ““The Wall” 25 Years Later”

  1. Paull Young on November 6th, 2007 11:55 pm

    Hi Terri,

    What a great post, I love reading about people’s personal experience with the wall.

    I do some work with the Smithsonian Channel and I think you might be interested in taking a look at their new documentary ‘Remembering Vietnam: The Wall at 25′

    You can see a promo for the show here:

    The full documentary is going to be streamed live at the Smithsonian Channel site (www.smithsonianchannel.com) this Sunday 11 Nov at 8pm and 11pm ET/PT.

  2. Terri on November 7th, 2007 5:44 am

    Thanks Paull and thanks so much for the information. I’ll definitely have to watch the documentary.

  3. Paull Young on November 7th, 2007 1:35 pm

    Not a problem Terri.

    I must apologize because I have the wrong times in my comment above.

    The documentary screens on DirectTV channel 267 at 8pm ET/PT.

    The live streaming at http://www.smithsonianchannel.com occurs Sunday Nov 11 at 9pm EST / 6pm PST.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Reply - http://www.smithsonianchannel.com occurs Sunday Nov 11 at 9pm EST \/ 6pm PST.\r\n\r\nSorry for the confusion.’); return false;”>Quote
  4. Terri on November 7th, 2007 2:01 pm

    That’s quite alright Paull. I’ll be sure to watch it. Thanks!

  5. Judy Gorman King on November 7th, 2007 5:55 pm

    I’m so glad you have something here about the 25th anniversary of “The Wall” I am here in DC for the event. I read a poem I wrote called “The Spirit of The Wall” yesterday at the Music and Poetry Tribute and will be one of the name readers on Saturday and will do a few of my poems at “The Writer’s Project tenton Sunday.If anyone is going to be in the DC area they should try to come to at least one event and if not please go to a veteran’s event in your area

  6. Terri on November 7th, 2007 6:29 pm

    Judy, I’d love to read your poetry. I wish I could be there, but things are getting busy here in Texas and it won’t be long before Marty’s back from Iraq, so I have tons of things to do. I do plan to attend the Veteran’s events in this area though.

  7. A Soldier’s Mind » Remembering Vietnam: The Wall At 25 on November 9th, 2007 10:10 am

    [...] Monday when I made my post about the 25th Anniversary of The Wall, Paull Young, who does some work for The Smithsonian Channel stopped by to tell us about a special [...]

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