The war comes to hometown America.
Traveling replicas of the Vietnam Wall (officially the Vietnam Veterans Memorial) are being hosted in towns all across America, each time being constructed and hosted by volunteers. On each are the more than 58,000 names of those who gave the last full measure of devotion during the Vietnam war.
It is coming to my town tomorrow, being delivered by the American Veterans Traveling Tribute. In fact, it has already arrived, having been escorted by motorcyclists – the same wonderful people who protect the integrity and dignity of military funerals: Patriot Guard, American Legion Riders, Purple Heart Riders, and others.
For those who have had the privilege of seeing the Wall in person, they will recognize the solemn, heart-wrenching silence that surrounds that hallowed ground in Washington, D.C. For those who see it for the first time tomorrow, they will notice it too. And slowly, unexpectedly, they will begin to hear the quiet melody of never-ending sadness that wafts through the still air, and listen as it grows into a symphony of bittersweet remembrance and melancholy.
Some will recognize names, but most will not. All of them will hear the echoes of those who never came home.