Welcome to a multi-post series of the Guns Save Life group’s Honor Flight trip on September 19th. There’s FAR too much to put in a single post, so I’m going to make a series of it. Probably will combine one or two stops into each post. I tried to post full-size images for those who want to download then and save/print them but it may not work depending on browser (or our server). (Right click them and then chose “save image as” or “open image in new tab” may get you a full-size image.)
This is the second post in this series. See earlier posts here:
After seeing the glorious World War II Memorial, we boarded our buses and took the short trip to behind the Lincoln Memorial, where we took in the (heavily under renovation work) famous Lincoln Memorial, and more importantly, for our Korean- and Vietnam-era veterans, those respective memorials.
For some this was arguably the most emotional part of the trip.
The Korean and Vietnam Memorials were on either side of the Lincoln Memorial. And that one was undergoing a lot of work.
The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight staff asked all of the Korean vets to head towards that memorial first for a group photo, so with Korean-era vet Richard Brandt as one of my two vets, that’s where we went. When we finally arrived, I as struck by the expression on the rear-most soldier’s face. It was the first thing you see as you come upon the memorial.
It was haunting. The smallest details often had meaning here.
Images taken from real photographs of soldiers serving in Korea were sand-blasted into the marble wall. Many of those pictured perished during the war, but some survivors are also there as well. They looked almost like ghosts.
One of the soldiers had his finger on the trigger. Not sure of that particular detail.
The Korean War-era veterans from our group in front of the memorial to “The Forgotten War.”
GSL’s Champaign County Regional Director Dick Brandt reflects over some of the names of those lost.
GSL member and Congresswoman Mary Miller welcomed many in the GSL group at the Korean and Vietnam memorials. It was nice to see a friendly face.
From there, we went to the Vietnam Memorial. That one was like a religious experience. On the way though, we looked down the reflecting pool towards the Washington Monument. Just past the end of the water is the World War II Memorial from where we had just come.
Yes, it was a holy place for many. Almost a shrine.
The National Park Service had a volunteer there who had extensive knowledge of the wall and many of the men (and eight women) on it. Here’s a couple of Honor Flight folks from the group from Kansas.
My second veteran, Marc Roderick, reaches out to touch the name of Ron Lovellette, a friend and fellow service member from that time.
The volunteer was happy to make rubbings for both Marc and Dick. They were priceless.
Plenty of others left mementos from friends and family members who perished in Vietnam.
Coming up next: The National Air and Space Museum.