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Veterans’ Memorials

My hubby and I used our vacation time to travel to Washington, DC for the Restoring Honor Rally on August 28, 2010. We left a couple days early, since the flights from Anchorage to Reagan airport are an all day adventure and 8 a.m. on the East Coast is 4 a.m. here. We needed to reset our internal clocks!

On the 27th, we went to the park strip to visit the memorials and learn how to ride the metro from our hotel. (For those attending the 10/02 fiasco, we did pay our own way.)

At the World War II Memorial, I remembered my great-aunt’s pride in the horse that was conscripted by the Army to Go Overseas and Join The War. His picture had a prominent place of honor in her home her entire life. She was proud to help General Patton by giving up her best cattle horse.

At the Korean memorial, I got to visit with a Veteran who was a soldier in Korea about the same time my father was, about 1951-52. The statues there gave me an idea of what it was like for Dad. Their tarp-like ponchos don’t compare to my GoreTex jacket with its liner, pit zips, and hood. Their radios don’t look much like my Garmin with its two-way radio, NOAA radio, and GPS maps installed on removable memory. I do carry iodine pills when I backpack, as Dad did, for water purification. I don’t travel the wilderness in fear of humans, my weapon is to protect me from bears and cow moose.

The Viet Nam memorial was an awesome and quieting place. The place of my generation. When the Moving Wall visited Fairbanks in June 1985, my intertribal drum group, The Crossing Paths Singers, with Lead Singer David West and Lead Dancer Gene Wescott, dressed in our regalia and sang an honor song at the ceremony. It doesn’t seem so long ago, but somehow it’s been 25 years already.

As I looked at pictures from the 10/2 event, I noticed the contrast of people during the Pledge of Allegiance compared to this picture I took of a Veteran who brought his trumpet and played taps, then stood at attention and saluted. Please look at the people in the background, who just happened to be present during this unstaged honoring of the fallen, and look at what they are doing. They are all showing respect, even the ones who are somewhat distant. As I looked around, everyone was standing, men with hats off. Some things are just the right things to do.

And later, after we had visited The Wall, there was another Veteran standing guard with the Viet Nam soldiers statue. If you look closely, you’ll see 11th Army and Calvary on his cap.

These two men, probably don’t know that what they did without fanfare or desire for recognition, touched me in a way unexpected. As these men visited The Wall and did what they felt was proper, I was not alone, with my heart sad and proud, and with tears running down my cheeks, in being blessed to be a citizen of the USA.

Women are remembered for their service as Faith, Hope and Charity. This statue is also very moving.

In honor of the women who served

I am so ever greatful to those who have served and are serving our country and who made it possible for us to have the free and open dialogue about our government and our politicians. I trust our troops and our Vets to assure our continued freedom as guranteed in the Constitution and its amendments and to uphold the oath they take when they join up.

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