Have You Visited The Wall?

Discussion in 'Vietnam War' started by Kate, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    While I was very aware that seeing The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall in D.C. would be a moving experience, I wasn't prepared for the full impact when I actually stood there. Seeing the words "58,000 names" in writing is worlds different from seeing the 58,000+ names written out on that wall.

    Have you been there? And have you seen the Virtual Wall of Faces that the vvmf website has put together? Overwhelming... all those faces to put with the names.
  2. titohunter

    titohunter New Member

    I want to go so bad. I have never been to D.C. its too far and too many city slickers. Its crazy to see how my uncle could have easily been one of those names.
  3. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    City slickers? Hmmm... can't say I've ever run across any of those, even on Capitol Hill. Oh wait... I ate lunch in the Rayburn Building when the senators were still eating there, so forget the statement I just made. :eek:

    But seriously, it's an awesome city and if you stay around the Smithsonian and monument areas, the reflecting pool, etc. the "slickers" won't bother you too much... maybe just a little bit. JUST kidding!

    Just don't go walking around Capitol Hill at 5 a.m. looking for breakfast like I did one time when I was visiting. Wasn't one of my brighter moves. :rolleyes:
  4. SPWhitlow

    SPWhitlow Member

    I have visited the wall, and I had an interesting experience. I went when I was a young Boy Scout (around 13 or so) and I was in awe at all the names that were on it. Seeing it really put it in perspective how many people died during that war. One thing that I am not proud of, however, was when I accidentally walked in front of a lady trying to take a picture of something on the ground (like a little piece of paper) next to a name when I was rushing to try to stay with the group I was with. She was rather upset at the time, and I still feel bad about it to this day.
  5. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    I'm sure the nasty lady was able to get another picture... I wouldn't feel bad about it at all because it was an accident. I always wondered why people think they can go to events or places that are constantly filled with other people and expect to get pictures without anyone on the shots. :confused:

    I'm glad you were able to experience The Wall, @SPWhitlow . Yeah, we can hear the numbers and it's like "wow, that's a lot" but seeing everything written out like that sure makes a huge impact.
  6. SPWhitlow

    SPWhitlow Member

    Haha, yeah, I can't remember if it was with a disposable camera or not, but oh well. She'll live.

    We walked around and saw all the memorials we could in DC, we saw the Vietnam memorial, the Iwo Jima memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, and a whole lot more. It was really mind blowing. Of course, I didn't fully appreciate it at the time being so young, but now I know how important these memorials are.

    On a side note, have you been to the 911 memorial yet?
  7. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    Sadly, I haven't, no. On the "good side" I'm actually close enough to NYC to go there any weekend I'd want to. On the "bad side".... well, it's NYC. :eek: I can handle D.C. without blinking but NYC "feels" different to me and it's kind of frightening. Odd, I know, but that's me. :p
  8. SPWhitlow

    SPWhitlow Member

    NYC isn't too bad, you just have to be careful of the bad parts of town, in my experience. The 911 memorial is really nice, it really puts in perspective all the people that lost their lives that day as well. It's also worse than an air port trying to get in there, the security is crazy. I had to go through about two or three metal detectors to get into the memorial.
  9. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    I'd like to see that... as much as the thought of wandering around the city scares me, NYC also fascinates me. I'll get there someday soon, I just have to be at a point where the excitement is higher than the fear. :rolleyes:

    The bad parts of town... yes, I'd have to know that and not go naively through those areas without a clue where I am... did that in D.C. and don't wish to repeat it anytime soon. :eek:
  10. ItsZiggy

    ItsZiggy New Member

    I've been there twice, each time it's overwhelmed me more than I expect it to. To sit and just realize just how many names are actually there is mind-blowing
  11. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    I know that feeling for sure, @ItsZiggy . Not just while actually standing there either... there's a database with all the names and their stories online. While seeing the names is more sobering (and overwhelming, like you said) than most people can imagine, seeing all those names *with* their stories and pictures hits even deeper.
  12. guywithguitar

    guywithguitar New Member

    I haven't gone yet, but I plan on going to D.C within maybe two years and I'll make it a point to visit The Wall and pay my respects.
  13. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    I had been there when I visited DC. It was some years ago so I don't remember every detail.
    However, one thing I do remember was that there were flowers and little flags at many spots along the wall. I figured it must be from the families of those deceased.
  14. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    Yes, I remember that, too... it's always so poignant. Sometimes there are things like boots, too... so that also makes an impact.

    I'm sure you're right about the families leaving the flags and flowers. I know that sometimes buddies who served with someone whose name is on the wall will leave the things like boots, too.
  15. prracewire

    prracewire New Member

    Hi Kate,

    Yes; I was in D.C. and went down to The Wall the day it was dedicated. I was in town for meetings and subsequently waited until twilight, then walked over. The particular day attracted numerous brothers who were in town for the day's dedication, or local folks who had been waiting for 'the day,' so the crowd was a bit larger than normal (I went over there a couple times more afterwards). It was quite the event, and all of us old dogs felt that something good had finally happened.
  16. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    Ah, that must have been a very special day for you, @prracewire ! I've not been there for a while now... I really need to get back. Although I love D.C., my last trip there was more than a little stressful, so I've been avoiding it. :D

    Maybe renting an old klunker vehicle would be good... then it wouldn't matter when other cars, cabs, and buses seem to think it's the norm to run into each other and keep going as if nothing is wrong or the thought of maybe stopping never occurred to them. Nope, didn't happen to me, but I see it each time I'm there!
  17. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Member

    I haven't been yet. I definitely need to get up there and check it out at some point. I imagine it's a very humbling experience that makes you really appreciate the sacrifices our men and women and uniform have made in the protection and promotion of human liberty. During a school trip in middle school we went to Arlington National Cemetery and I remember that touching me quite a bit. I imagine the Vietnam Memorial will touch me in much the same way.
  18. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    The memorial wall is a scary thing to me. No, I haven't and probably won't. Please don't get this wrong. I'm not one of those guys who takes the wall as just a small token from a country who's people treated the soldiers of that era worse than they would treat the actual enemy.( Hello, Hanoi Jane wherever you are,)
    I not only know the names of guys who I served with and died in battle, but I remember the faces as well. It's been nearly 50 years since I was there and it's like yesterday sometimes.
    Kentucky, a guy who just couldn't refuse a game of "jacks or better." Smiley might have made it big in pro football. He could hold an M-60 at arms length, holding the end of the barrel. I remember some other guys as well.
    The thing with the wall is indeed scary to me. If I looked at it and saw their names, then I guess it would mean that they are really gone. I can keep them alive in this picture show I have for a mind, so no thank you, alive is better. No, I think I like things the way they are. They say its a part of the ptsd I'm supposed to have. If it is, so be it. Anyway, I think tonight I'm going to dig out the chips and maybe a new deck of cards. I think Kentucky cheats a little when the cards get worn.
    Kate likes this.
  19. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    I enjoyed reading your post and sharing your memories, @preacherbob50 . While I think it's vital for the rest of us to remember, you certainly don't need that piece of wall to remember Kentucky and Smiley... they need to stay where they are in your heart and mind. Don't forget to count those cards before you start, too... make sure all the jacks are there, yes?
  20. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

    I saw it when I was 14. It was one of several stops we made on that trip that left me silent for a while. It was like the reality of it just overwhelmed me and I had no desire to speak, nothing to say, just kind of in shock a little bit and had to process it in my own mind before I was ready to interact verbally with people.

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