50,000 Names Carved In The Wall

First I want to thank those who have sent good wishes and prayers as I continue to deal with Guillian Barre Syndrome. Recovery is a long slow process but I am seeing some positive signs, especially in the improvement of the use of my legs.

Approximately 2 weeks ago marked forty years since the end of the Vietnam conflict. In 1999 Jamie O'Hara wrote a song later recorded by George Jones called “50,000 Names Carved In The Wall.”  Actually there are 58,303 names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice between 1961 and 1975. The wall was dedicated in 1982. If you have occasion to visit Washington DC I hope you'll do as I did, go to the wall and pay your respects. Here is what Mr. O'Hara wrote:

“There's teddy bears and high school rings and old photographs and mamas’ dreams and daddies with their young boys playing ball.

There's combat boots he used to wear when he was still over there and there's 50,000 names carved in the wall.

There's cigarettes and cans of beer and notes say “I miss you dear” and children who don't say anything at all.

There's Purple Hearts and packs of gum. There's fatherless daughters and fatherless sons and there's 50,000 names carved in the wall.

They come from all across this land in pickup trucks and minivans searching for the boy from long ago. They scan the wall and find his name and teardrops fall like pouring rain and silently they leave their gifts and go.

There's stars of David and rosary beads and crucifixion figurines and flowers of all colors large and small.

There's a Boy Scout badge and a sorority pin, little American flags wave in the wind and there's 50,000 names carved in the wall. There's 50,000 names carved in the wall.”

Here is my request for you: Never pass up the opportunity to say thank you to a veteran.

t the la     © Dick Caldwell 2012