Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend 2006: The Wall

The above print hangs in my livingroom as a reminder—a reminder of my friends, comrades, ad other members of my generation who died in Southeast Asia.

In the TV situation comedy, All in the Family, Archie Bunker, the character—and what a character he was!—played by Carroll O'Connor was fond of referring to World War II as “the Big One.” And it was. It was also the war of my father and his generation.

Vietnam was the war of my generation. It was my war, even though I never served in Vietnam. I was scheduled to serve there, but the U.S. presence began to be reduced before I was ordered to Southeast Asia. Thus I remained in (then) West Germany throughout my tour as an active duty army officer.

Still, Vietnam was my war. I count and remember twenty-seven friends and comrades who died in Vietnam. The first was a teenager named Billy Bates, with whom I attended Sunday school. He died early in the war—1965. The last was an officer with whom I served in Germany. He was fragged—intentionally killed by one of his own men—in Vietnam. It is in the memory of those two men—and the twenty-five other men I knew who died in Vietnam—that impelled me to purchase that print of the Vietnam Wall and hang it in my livingroom.

Since pictures usually speak louder than words, on this Memorial Day weekend I want to share with you some other views of that wall that I gleaned from the Internet that seem to me to be especially appropriate to this weekend.


  1. Thank you. What a wonderful tribute.

  2. Thanks. It was my war, too.

  3. Very nice, Nick.

  4. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. My uncle was in Vietnam and I know it was something that affected him and all of us forever.