Upon entering the Vietnam veterans memorial in Portland Oregon be prepared for a change of perspective. There is a sense of peace and somberness that meets you.
This is what will meet your eyes as you climb the steps
The memorial is slightly larger than three acres. It is an open park like atmosphere that has trails which spiral slowly up to the black marble memorial slabs containing the names of those who died in the war from the Portland area.
1969 seemed to have the most names on it.
Above each list of names on each marble slab was recorded what was happening back home at the time these young people were dying.
This aspect made me stop and wonder ... made me see clearly how unnecessary their deaths were.
Why did they have to go there and die?
Upon leaving the memorial you find yourself on this path. It winds up and down trails in a heavily shaded forest like atmosphere. It is a good place to meditate on what you have just encountered.
Someone recently said to me that the Vietnam war was justified because communism represented a threat to our 'way of life' by challenging our economic philosophy ie: our consumer driven corporately contrived way of life.
What do you think?
Photographs and text Copyright 2007 David H. Roche