Friday, July 25, 2008

the wall

How much do you know about the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall?

I watched a show about the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall this morning. I have seen it once before, but could watch it ten times. I also have a couple of books about it, my favorite one is about items people have left at the wall itself. I am pretty fascinated with it all. Pretty overwhelming.

I have not been blessed enough to stand in front of this wall of honor, or to see the traveling replica. Both are very amazing, and I will eventually make my way there to check it out, and of course, to photograph it. To me, it's symbolic of so many things, that I can easily picture being overcome with sadness, but pride as well, when there.

It was very interesting to see this memorial explained to , and to also see an interview with the architect who designed it. Maya Lin designed the memorial wall with much thought and desire to honor those fallen, and to speak to all generations yet to come. She purposely chose the granite to form the wall itself. White granite, when polished becomes highly reflective. She loved the look this gave when viewing the wall. It allows you to see, but at the same time realized that though the fallen have passed into the shadowy realm, we have not. Another aspect that helped her to choose the white granite is the contrast provided when etched into. The etchings create the stark contrast of white on dark. This makes the names carved into highly visible and very easy to read. However, when it rains, it almost seems as if the names disappear, causing yet another level of emotional response. It's absolutely chilling to see it on tv, and I can't imagine how it would be to have the opportunity to be there after a rain shower.

She wanted to list the names in the year they died as opposed to alphabetically to help us to remember their place in time. The height and length of the wall are meant to point out the vastness of the fallen. There are many aspects Lin considered when creating this memorial. I think The Wall should have a HUGE place in our children's history lessons. Of course, I will readily admit, I am a history buff, and like to watch the history channel more than most. I think part of the reason for that is because the pride, honor, and genuine heart people had a long time ago seems to be slowly slipping away in our generation. Of course there are exceptions to that, and I know it.

I just wish more of our society had remained "old school," where spanking was not only accepted but EXPECTED; it was not considered lazy for a mother to stay home to raise their children; church on Sunday wasn't an option, it was a way of life; parents were respected not only by their children, but by everyones; divorce was a last resort; men held jobs rather than rely on the government to support their families; paternity tests were unheard of, and uneeded; high school football games were about school pride, and not primarily a social event; it was okay for a kid to 'try out' for a team and NOT make it; and so many other things.

That wall signifies a different place in time all together.

I wonder how many of those service people would be happy with what the USA has turned into, after their great sacrifices to give us the land of the free?


Michael July 25, 2008 at 2:52:00 PM CDT  

The Vietnam Memorial wall has come to reflect and signify a lot of things over time. I have not had the opportunity to see The Wall or it's traveling exhibit either.

To get into your post a little. The surviving veterans of the Vietnam War were very aware of the changing world when they returned. Many soldiers were hated in America for being there,they were also spit on and protested rather crudely. At the time there were no speeches or memorials for those soldiers. The Wall stands to remember those who fell.

It also reminds of a time that led us where we are today....and what a mess it was.

Just a thought!

Debbi July 25, 2008 at 3:13:00 PM CDT  

I've seen it in person, a couple times and it is SUCH a sight to see. Humbling experience to say the least.

I agree with you, I wish we could return to those simpler days.

I saw a story about the traveling wall the other day on TV about a soilder who left his family, but didn't know that he had also left his girlfriend expecting. So after all these years the family found out and would come to the traveling wall each day hoping they could meet their half-sister or brother. It was such a great story.

Anonymous,  July 25, 2008 at 3:16:00 PM CDT  

I have never seem it either.My kids were watching Reading Rainbow yesterday morning and it was about the wall as well...

I think even if society as a whole has changed its opinions about things, we can each hold onto those values we care about the most and keep them alive and well.

Debbi July 25, 2008 at 3:20:00 PM CDT  

If you are interested, one of my best friends is living in DC for the summer while her husband does a law clerk job - you can see where they've been and what she thinks -

Her husband is a vet from Iraq, he was one of the first troops to go into Bagdad - he left only 2 months after they got married! It's fun to see the sites they get to see. If you are interested...

Mandy July 27, 2008 at 10:52:00 PM CDT  

Great post about the wall. It's unfortunante how INCREDIBLY long it took for the Vietnam vets to receive any proper recognition.

I, personally, would never want to live in those days. Back then, divorce might have been rare, but that doesn't mean people were happily married. Women were practically slaves to their husband's and children's EVERY whim.. whether they liked it or not. Women, (like you and me) that wanted to even work at home jobs or jobs around our famalies were looked at as selfish and undevoted. (and, that is still prevelant in some areas today.)The option was just opening up to them to work at all. I do wish things like common courtesy, manners, and customer service were like they were back then. I have an entire post thought up about the new system at walmart.. ugh. When the card scanner at the checkout line has to ask "was your cashier friendly today?" to keep a check on the workers.. you KNOW there's a problem! lol I'm, as you know, extremely glad that spanking is slowly becoming an unexpected thing. What I'm sad about is how more and more parents lack any discipline techniques at all, so their children run wild and have no respect for authority. So sad.. those kids will have a hard time when they realize that life is full of authority. There were great things about those times, but hidden bad things too. Every generation will always look to the generation after it and think how horrible it is. The crime rate is actually lower this year than its been in a LONG time, the economy sucks but people are still making it somehow, and we had a black man AND a woman running for President of the USA this year. I think the veterans would be mighty proud of what America has accomplished. For the most part, I am.

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