This weekend, my town was lucky enough to host the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall. If you haven't heard of it please click on the link and read about it. I can not even describe how much of a humbling experience it was to stand in front of just the miniature wall and look at all of those thousands of names of those who served their country.
My dad served in the Air Force during the Vietnam conflict. He was stationed in Thailand during his tour. He often jokes about it and tells all of the interesting stories, but after seeing that everything there today, it really isn't a laughing matter.
The trailer pictured above had letters, dog tags, food rations and much more put on display. It was heart breaking to try to read those letters. They were left on the actual Vietnam Memorial Wall by family and friend of those who served. After being preserved, they now travel with the miniature memorial. I don't think I actually read a whole letter. I would get a few sentences in and start crying. On the opposite side of the trailer were pictures of men who had served in Vietnam and made the ultimate sacrifice. Along with the pictures was a map of the Vietnam area and all the locations where US military troops were stationed.
I'm not sure which was more humbling and saddening... reading all the words from the family members letters or looking at all of the names on the wall. One of the volunteers helping out told us that there were over 58,000 names on the wall. To think about all of those lives lost... I can't help but tearing up now.
My dad couldn't recall any names that he might have known so he could find them, but I know he was happy to be able to go. It makes you think how you should be a little more thankful everyday for those have protected and continue to protect our freedom.