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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remember Our Veterans-Part 2

On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.. It was designed to travel to communities throughout the United States.
It essentially "Brought The Wall Home" to communities throughout our country allowing the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist, once more, among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings.
The traveling exhibit, is known as The Wall That Heals.

The Wall That Heals features a Traveling Museum and Information Center.
Volunteers are at the wall around the clock while it is at it's location. People may come at any time of the day or night to look up a name.

If it ever comes to your town I encourage you to visit it.

It is a very moving experience, people leave items, they stand and stare with tears flowing down their face, they reach and trace the names of loved ones with their fingers.

While The Wall was here, my husband and I volunteered. Our shift was in the middle of a cold night, but it was an honor to be of service to the Wall that honored those who gave their life for their country.

I wrote the following poem and left it at The Wall. It laid on the ground, in the midst of the other many items, all left by the visitors who came to the Ripley Court House Lawn that April in 2007.

The Wall That Heals
She brings a flower
Full of life,
Fresh and fragrant.
The mirrored surface
Reflects her tears.
Her fingers flow across
Unending names.
The names of many
Now gone or missing.
She stops and stares
In a trance.
She stares at one name,
Now just a memory.
A husband,
A father, a son,
Now just a memory.
The granite panels
Stand, strong and silent.
Honor to those
That were strong,
But now silent.
The wall that heals
captures her tears
In its reflection.
The wall that heals
Those men and women.
The flower now faded,
Withered, and worn
Lays in its reflection,
Catching the tears
Of other loved ones
In procession.
J Smart
© 2007


  1. Janet, your poem is beautiful--a tribute to our soldiers.

    We visited the replica wall several times while it was in Ripley. I did not expect to be moved by it, because we'd been to the one in DC several times. But this small version was somehow more touching. My husband was able to find information about a friend who was killed while they were together in Vitenam, and later we found the friend's name on an online Wall memorial. Larry left a message and he was contacted by two members of the soldier's family--he is still remembered and loved.

  2. Hi Jan,
    I don't remember that. Did you even tell me about it then? Well, anyway, you made a very good post and your poem is outstanding.

    Love you, Sis.

  3. Thank you for visiting. I enjoyed reading your two posts about Veteran's Day. My Dad was in the Navy during WW2. My best friend in school for many years had a younger brother that was killed in Vietnam. She was a diabetic and died several years later. Needless to say, that family had a lot of sadness.
    I love your poem. It tells a good story.

  4. Oh, Janet, that was incredibly moving! The poem was beautiful! And thank you for volunteering at the wall when it was in your town! This was a wonderful tribute.

  5. Also, Granny Sue--that's so wonderful that the families of the soldier contacted your husband!

  6. I loved both of your veterans day posts. I would love to visit the wall too. Your poem-is amazingly beautiful.

  7. Janet, that is an amazing poem. You are a poet as well as a writer.


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