The Wall

The Wall

From the rice patties, the jungle, the fields of tall grass, the rivers, the swamps, the mud covered roads, and the small villages all across they traveled on the wings of angles, to a black wall in Washington DC, 58,205 of them, those young men of that time and placed there for our memory of what war cost.

I have visited The Wall, Vietnam Memorial, several times and always it leaves me with the same feeling of sadness and tears. Just to see the men who did come home, but never left the war, walk around The Wall and weep over its 58,205 names is more than enough to bring sorrow to your heart. These veterans of the war seem like lost souls on a sea of never ending sailing, unlike the men who came home to cheers, parades, praise, and glory from World War II, they came unnoticed, unnamed, almost held guilty by a nation greatly divided by the war. Many never found recover, never received relief, and never really left the war. I have been at The Wall in the daylight hours and in the dark of night and always it is the same, the unreturned are there searching for something that will never come.

On that wall is the name of six of the nine seniors from Morenci High School who all played football together and enlisted in July after their graduation only three of the nine came home. There are four sets of father and son, Pfc. Rex G. Chrisms escorted his father Lt. Rex Chrisms, USN, body home for burial and returning to Vietnam and was killed thirty days later. Twenty-nine sets of brothers, sixteen Chaplains, two who received the Medal of Honor; in all 154 of those named on the wall received the Medal of Honor. Some 997 men were killed on their first day in country another 1,448 died on their last day scheduled to be in the country. There are eight women, all nurses, there to give aid and comfort to our men and charged with giving their own lives. There is Sp4 James T. Davis, from Livingston, Tennessee who was the first person killed in battle, it was December 22, 1961, and members of his family are in our church at First Baptist Byrdstown.

But there could be other walls, 25,000 for the men killed in the Revolutionary War, 20,000, in the War of 1812, 13,283 in the Mexican American War, 625,000 killed in our own Civil War, then many others and the 116,576 left in Europe in World War I, the 405,399 who never came home from World War II and to that 36,516 in Korea and the 1,893 in Afghanistan and 4,484 in Iraq and you have a lot of walls and too many names. Today as we honor our fallen, we honor an unnumbered line of men and women who stood tall, paid the full price, and left this world far too soon. Thank you seems so little, but thank you it is until the hugs of glory. Ivan

Get your copy of 77 stories, “Just A Moment” by Ivan Raley

Published in: on May 24, 2015 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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