Memorials

Today, as many know or should know, is Veterans Day, or actually many who observe call it what it was intended to be called, Armistice Day.
On this day in a U.S. occupation of anothers country, that seems so long ago but isn't, and which I served '70-'71, the following happened:
November 11, 1972
 

The U.S. Army turned over its massive military base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese army, symbolizing the end of direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. The last American forces, however, did not leave until 1975. ********** April 29 - Corporal Charles McMahon, Jr., and Lance Corporal Darwin Judge, USMC, are the last US military personnel killed in Vietnam. They are struck during a rocket attack at the US Embassy in Saigon, during the final North Vietnamese attack on the government. April 30 - At 7:53 a.m., 11 US Marines (the last of 865 Marines assigned to guard the US Embassy) carrying the American flag, are airlifted from the US Embassy rooftop helipad. Three hours later the Vietnam war finally ends when North Vietnamese tanks break into the Presidential Palace.

There will be much written and said about Armistice Day, than again there will probably be even more not said nor written by many who really don't observe, even as to their family members long gone, wether killed in conflicts or served in but passed away years later.
The purpose of this is to point to another observance, actually two, one a dedication 15 year anniversary of one memorial, The Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Another a dedication anniversary two days later some 27 years past of 'The Wall', the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, both in Washington DC, this countries capital.
On November 13, 1982 The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. Carved into black granite are the 58,260 names of those Americans who died in Vietnam. The designer, Maya Ying Lin of Athens, Ohio, a 21-year-old architecture student at Yale University, was the winner of the competition that drew 1,421 design entries: ". . . this memorial is for those who have died, and for us to remember them." Eventually, the Memorial included three elements, the Wall of names, the Three Servicemen Statue and Flagpole, and the Vietnam Women's Memorial.{ From: This Week In Peace History as will be some of the following links. }
Read more about the memorial:
 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, USA, "The Wall" now has carved into it the names of the 58,260 American military personnel (eight were women) who were direct casualties of the war, including about 1300 who are still considered Missing In Action (MIA). When The Wall was built, there were 57,159 names. A few names have been added each year: those where lost records of wartime death were found later or those names of men who died after the war from physical injuries as a result of the war. Each of the branches of the Department of Defense made and continues to make the determinations of eligibility.

The Women’s Memorial
 

Each Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the stories of the women cast in bronze come to life as veterans and other American patriots share their experiences “in their own voices.” Through verse, prose and music, a tapestry of stories is woven by women who served in support of the Armed Forces: nurses, administrators, air traffic controllers, journalists, women who entertained troops as members of the USO and Red Cross, women who served in a variety of occupations around the world. Men who knew their sisters in war and have partnered with them to ensure healing and peace also share their stories in a compelling and educational way. 15th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Memorial, Veterans Day Nov 8-11, 2008, Various locations, Washington DC VWMF

Stunning photo gallery of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial including interactive panoramic images
And the young architect Maya Lin, who won the call for the design that is one of the most moving, emotionally, memorials ever constructed.
Charlie Rose interview with Maya Lin and filmmaker Freida Lee Mock, who made the Academy-Award-winning documentary, "Maya Lin - A Strong Clear Vision"
Charlie Rose 12/26/1995: Maya Lin & Freida Lee Mock
 

And what War and Occupation can do to many who survive:
MoJo: The Pentagon's PTSD Denial
How killing scars soldiers—and their loved ones.

In the spring of 2002, an Army major named Peter Kilner submitted an unusual essay to Military Review, a journal published by the Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Kilner argued that combat leaders have an obligation to justify the killing their soldiers do. "Soldiers who kill reflexively in combat will likely one day reconsider their actions reflectively," he wrote. "If they are unable to justify to themselves that they killed another human being, they will likely, and understandably, suffer enormous guilt" that could balloon into post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd). Top brass who ignored the issue, he concluded, were "treating their soldiers as commodities, not as persons."

After Two Iraq War Deployments
Army Major General Steps Forward, Breaks Culture of Silence on Mental Health
 

Blackledge got psychiatric counseling to deal with wartime trauma, and now he is defying the military's culture of silence on the subject of mental health problems and treatment. "It's part of our profession ... nobody wants to admit that they've got a weakness in this area," Blackledge said of mental health problems among troops returning from America's two wars.

Facing The Wall: A Mission
 

Witness This Engaging Account About One Woman's Struggling in Taking Care of Her Vietnam War Veteran Husband Suffering From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) FACING THE WALL: A MISSION symbolizes the everlasting pains of war as well as our search for peace. It pays special attention to PTSD and its effects on the whole family.

Growing Problem For Veterans: Domestic Violence
 

"The increasing number of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) raises the risk of domestic violence and its consequences on families and children in communities across the United States," says Monica Matthieu, Ph.D., an expert on veteran mental health and an assistant professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis.

David Connolly in "Voices in Wartime"
 

 

Boston poet and Vietnam veteran, David Connolly, reads his poetry and talks about the death of friends, combat trauma, nightmares and memories, and how the experience of war changes people forever.

Military, VA Confront Rising Suicide Rates Among Troops
 

November 10, 2008 MP3: The Army says that suicides among active duty personnel have doubled in recent years, and multiple deployments might contribute to that increase. NewsHour correspondent Betty Ann Bowser explores how the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs are responding to the rising suicide rate. You Can Listen To Report in mp3 with the link. Extended Interviews {Video} : Army psychiatrist Col. Elspeth Ritchie, veterans advocate Paul Sullivan and VA Secretary James Peake. {after each interview hit the 'next' arrow to continue to next interview} {The discussion with Paul Sullivan is a Must Watch as he lays out the Legacy that will Be Remembered as to the Administration and the Appointee's of} Forum: Ask questions of Ritchie, Sullivan and VA representatives. {Check back on Friday, Nov. 14 for answers to your questions.} The Army says that suicides among its active duty personnel have doubled in recent years, and multiple deployments may be contributing to the increase. A veterans' advocate, an Army psychiatrist and representatives of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs take your questions.

And from 'Nam brother BOHICA's Dialy KOS Post last year this snippet:
 

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, it became "All quiet on the western front." An armistice signed at six o’clock that morning took effect and brought a cease-fire to the "War to end all wars." Since that fateful hour, most nations, which fought in that conflict, observe Armistice Day. The United States in 1938 made it official with a proclamation that states in part: "...it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and...inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

And what the day really is:
 

Armistice Day: The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words: ...Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations... An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday - - a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day."

'World Peace', wonderful concept that has been totally destroyed as the Hatreds Level have been greatly increased these last 8yrs. with the destruction and occupations under a banner of 'Terrorism' as we waged it against those we condemned for doing same!
What will the Memorial for the 'War on Terrorism', conflicts and occupations being fought under that misnomer in Afghanistan and Iraq, look like and give back to those who fought in these theaters, and their families, and their memories, memories of multiple tours in one or both.
To the rest it will be just another memorial.

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"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Obama marks Veterans Day with wreath-laying

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President-elect Barack Obama and Iraqi war veteran and Illinois State Director of Veterans Affairs, Tammy Duckworth, place a wreath at The Bronze Soldiers Memorial in honor of Veteran's Day on the Lakefront in Chicago, Illinois.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."