Have you gotten outside of your own experience? Put yourself in a position that someone else has experienced?
In May, I started working on THE WALL THAT HEALS in preparation for the arrival of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica & Mobile Education Center to Livingston County. Many years ago my family visited Washington DC and visited all the different war memorials. At the Vietnam Memorial Wall, I realized I didn’t have a name that I was aware of to look for amidst 58,318 engraved on the wall. I do remember clearly the nightly news with the report of casualties daily. And I remember very well the atmosphere in the country at that time and the treatment of those returning from the war.
When this project first came to me, I related to the technology that will be available and the educational aspects that will be available. There are new ways to research the names on the wall. Thoughts also turned to my dad who was a WWII veteran who left for that war weeks after he married my mother. I also thought of younger generations and lessons for them to learn.
The extent of the need for “healing” came slowly to me.
I know several Vietnam Veterans today who have gone on to lead very successful lives. And they are happy in life. I was slow to understand on a deeper level how what was experienced has stayed with people whether there is something physical to see or something that is deeply personal.
We all know how the words of parents, teachers and personal experiences stay with us throughout life. Very few of us know or understand the experience of a wartime veteran. I pray for much healing for those involved starting with the escort along Grand River Avenue through the final moments of honoring Gold Star and Silver Star families.
I have watched the volunteer forms come through the website and a Facebook Post reach 10,000 people. This event is resonating in our community.
Thank you to Dale Brewer and Paul DeSha of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 125 and Auxiliary for trusting me with the creation of the website for THE WALL THAT HEALS and participation in the Facebook Page to promote the arrival of THE WALL.
Visit the website at http://dav125.com!
Today would have been my mom’s 98th birthday. My parents sacrificed much in their life so that I could have the life I have. I hope my mom and dad are looking down with some happy tears as I say thank you to them for all they have done for me and all those they loved.