Saturday, June 29, 2013

A moving Vietnam experience

As a college student in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Vietnam War was a vivid and troubling part of my life.
I did not agree with the war itself, but I certainly thought it was wrong to not support all the young people who were drafted into service -- or volunteered -- and were dying for our country. There were plenty of war protests held on college campuses across the country.
Every campus, including mine, held memorial services and moratoriums on classes when the tragedy of Kent State occurred.
I wore a POW/MIA bracelet in honor of a serviceman missing in action. Fortunately for that person, he was found and could return to his family. But that steel bracelet never left my wrist while he was still among the missing.

And so many memories came rushing back Saturday when I visited the Vietnam War Moving Wall Project at the Hatfield American Legion on Koffel Road.

I have been to the original memorial in Washington, D.C., but this exhibit was no less impressive. And once again I found the name of Larry Gleason, a boy who went to the same schools as I did and was in 4-H when I was. I also found the name of Robin Miller, the late brother of Martha, who has written about him and shared his letters in her blog, Mom on Caffeine

 It's hard to put into words how this Moving Wall could take me back through time to my teenage years, the turmoil of our country back then, the deaths of so many young people, the murder of a president and, later, his brother, and of civil rights leaders.

If you haven't yet visited this moving tribute, you can still do so today. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity.
You, too, will be moved.

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