Yes, she's strange and different...but not THAT different.

06 November 2007

Black Wall

The Wall
There is a black wall buried in our nation's capitol
and in my mind.

About twenty years ago, I wrote the above in my journal shortly after my first and so far, only, visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Today I wrote this here:
It looks black and cold;
I can't believe it's so warm.
Keeping memories.
As the Wall now approaches its twenty-fifth anniversary, I find it a little ironic - in light of that first bit - that MSNBC headlined their online article about that anniversary: Engraved in their minds.

I lost my best friend during his Army service in the war in Vietnam, although he didn't physically die there, and I lost other friends that did. I broke down when I first saw the wall and since then have never been able to see pictures of the Wall without thinking of all of them and crying. It's a reaction I cannot stop ... and I don't want to. And my most surprising memory of the Wall? Despite it being black stone buried in the ground, it was warm to the touch - blood warm.

I contributed both money and time to help build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. My deep sadness is that today we will have yet another memorial to build - as soon as we know what dates and names to put on it.

(and Denise - I still have the picture. Thank you yet again, my dear friend.)

[UPDATE - 07 Nov 07: (from PRNewswire) "'Remembering Vietnam - The Wall at 25' - - an original documentary about the history of the famous monument in Washington, D.C. -- will be streamed on, the Smithsonian Channel website, concurrent with its premiere on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11 at 8 pm and 11 pm ET/PT. ... Smithsonian Channel is currently available on DIRECTV's Channel 267."]

  • On 11/06/2007 12:36 PM, Blogger Jenn in Holland said…

    I had such a profound experience the first time I stood at the wall myself, and I remember just crying and thinking and crying some more. Years later, I took my kids to see it and I thought surely it wouldn't have that same first-time-impact upon me, but it totally did. I stood there crying and thinking and crying more.
    Your last thought here about the next memorial has me really thinking too. And yes, I admit, on the verge of crying.
    It's such a powerful place: the wall. I am devastated that we have to build yet another. soon.

  • On 11/06/2007 12:52 PM, Blogger Sher said…

    Another memorial to build. I hate it.

    I really would like to see the Wall someday. I'm sure it's very powerful.

  • On 11/06/2007 2:34 PM, Anonymous tonya said…

    and there will be many people sadden by this years into the future that might one day mention it on their blog.

    it's 2007 and killing for the government is still ok. let's all wave a flag that will make it better.

  • On 11/06/2007 4:13 PM, Blogger Sunshine said…

    The picture you posted with this always triggers such an emotional response for me.

    I've never seen the Wall since I spent the most time in DC as a small kid (before it existed) and when I went as a teen, we didn't get to it.

    I will though, thanks for your comments.

  • On 11/06/2007 7:53 PM, Blogger Nancy said…

    I've never seen the wall, but that picture several times. It gets to me every time .... like it is the first. I can't imagine what standing in front of it does to a person, let alone touching it.

    Nice post Jami.

  • On 11/06/2007 9:54 PM, Blogger Jen of A2eatwrite said…

    Very touching post, Jami.

  • On 11/07/2007 8:48 AM, Blogger exskindiver said…

    cold memory,
    warm to touch.

  • On 11/07/2007 11:02 AM, Blogger Audubon Ron said…

    I lost family and friends in Nam too. I graduated high school in 1974. Almost got to see it.

  • On 11/09/2007 7:07 AM, Blogger UMLawGirl said…

    And, you're welcome -- yet again, dear friend.

    I have been to the Wall many, many times. I am always moved to tears. I was in the Navy during Vietnam, and I have my Vietnam service ribbon (which I will wear when I march in our local parade this Veterans Day (Sunday)). I lost many friends there.

    It is the only monument to war of which I approve. We build too many monuments to the "heros" of war. Dying in war is not heroic. Killing in war is not heroic. War is not heroic.


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