Monday, November 01, 2010

Vietnam War Memorial

Pencil rubbing of my uncle's name
 One of my dreams was to visit the Vietnam Memorial and see my uncle's name. I didn't want to see stones polished for beauty. I wanted to honor his memory and recognize the sacrifice of those who died in service to our country. Uncle Paul was a radio man.
Paul Lee Bigelow died in Vietnam the first week he arrived in a huge Viet Cong sweep.

 Uncle Paul's name is found on panel 44E line 57. Both my brother and my son bear part of his name.

Vietnam Memorial
I was surprised by the sheer size and the emotion that seeing all those names sparked. I didn't think I'd cry. I really didn't. But I did. The magnitude of all those lives stunned me. Remembering my uncle, fondly, brought emotions I'd never expected. It's just a black shiny wall, right? 

Sculpture of service men at the Vietnam Memorial
But my uncle could have been a model for one of these men. He answered the call to duty. He deserves to be remembered with honor, love, and gratitude. Today is All Saints Day. One to remember those who have gone before. Thank you, Uncle Paul, for going before and out in front.

Also remembering my mom Eva,  cousin Dale Nelson, and grandparents Burt, Maybelle, Cleo, and Ralph today.

Do you miss someone?

How do you honor them and your grief today?
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