When looking at a photo, it is easy to forget how recent the subjects were. The Vietnam Memorial at Big Spring, Texas, was taken in 1965, when the war was still young. The memorial was organized in 1966, and the memorial itself was not finished until 1970. By then, the war was winding down. By the time of its last dedication in 1977, the memorial was older than many of the veterans who would have liked to see it.
The memorial is shaped like an open hand resting on a globe. The hand is joined to the lip of the globe, which is covered by a small globe, which in turn is covered by a larger globe. The memorial is set off by a black wall, into which is carved the names of 161 Big Springs residents who were killed in Vietnam. The names are arranged alphabetically, and on the black wall the name of the last Big Spring resident killed in Vietnam is 152th on the list.
Nobody really knew how many Big Springs residents had died in Vietnam. The casualty lists did not keep that information. (The lists are long and complicated.) After the war, relatives of the dead began putting names on a list, and that list eventually grew to 161.
The memorial is a secular way of remembering the war, and most people think of it as a memorial for the war’s veterans. But the war was fought by civilians, most of whom were never in Vietnam. The memorial is a secular way of remembering the civilians who were perished during Vietnam. The Vietnam Memorial in Big Spring TX, really gives us the ability to remember our great history. More importantly, those who “gave all” for the love of their country. History tells us that our countrymen believe in the greater good, and will put everything on the line to fight for causes that the Country is behind. God Bless the USA, our Veterans, our active Military!
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