Vietnam Memorial – A Good Man

The nine pm darkness of D.C. could not hide the eternal darkness of the Vietnam Memorial with its more than 50,000 names inscribed in its black granite. Somehow the unlit V shaped memorial poked its sobering majesty through the darkness and into my heart. I had asked the park ranger, Victor Pillar, to look up two names for me to locate, one my nephew Sgt. Danny R. Ayers killed September 14, 1968 at the age of 21 and the other, SP4 James Thomas Davis from Livingston Tennessee, killed December 22, 1961 becoming the first combat casualty of the Vietnam War, at the age of 24.

He quickly found both of them and then told me that Davis was on the top of the highest plate on the memorial and I would need a ladder to reach it and make a marker of the inscription. I thanked him for his concern and said that I would return in the morning. I walked down the dark path and stood gazing at the darkness of all those men killed in the name of their Nation. While I have visited this sobering place before it was always in the day time and it seemed to me that the darkness pushed the sadness of this honored ground deep into my soul. I stood there looking into the dark at all of those men who gave their lives for our country and until this memorial was built it seemed to me that no one noticed and no one cared. My eyes filled with tears as I though of all of the families who had holes in their hearts because of their lost. Then suddenly I saw Victor Pillar, ladder in hand and a flashlight in the other looking for me, placing the ladder by the correct plate, he climbed to the name and holding the light in his mouth made a marker of the inscribed name. Almost in tears I told him I did not know how to properly pay him only to hear him say, Sir these men paid me a long time ago, it was my privilege to do this for them and for you.

There may be a lot wrong in Washington, but there is also Victor Pillar, and he is proof that there is good in our Nations Capitol.


Published in: on October 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

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