Monday, May 25, 2009
Duck Pond Temecula 2009
Dedicated to John Klungreseter Sr.
John is Bryan's Uncle who served many tours in the Vietnam War
Bryan wrote this Tribute to his Uncle while in High School in 1988. He was 17 years old.
The brutally sleek face of the cold, unyielding black granite stared down at the camouflaged man in the wheelchair. As he stares back, the cold winter wind glancing off the glazed wall wisps through his hair. This crying shell of a man is one of our Nation's heroes. But our Nation doesn't care. Kindness and friendship, none can spare for these terrible men who fought and died over there. Yet we built them this monument. So the men come and cry in memory of the men they loved who went there to die. Most came today by themselves. Others need help. They paid their dues in that war, in the form of limbs. They have no more. They all come for the same reason. To remember. They walk along side the dark reflective wall. The names etched on the wall seem to say it all. They find the spot of their best friend. They keep whispering his name over and over again. They start to remember how his young life came to an end. They loved each other like brothers. One was always watching out for the other. Then one died. At the time, the other didn't even cry. He is crying freely now. "It doesn't matter anyhow. He is dead. He is gone. You are here. You must go on." They try to convince themselves. It does not work. Most have lost something. People who were there are the only ones they bother. They were there at Tet, at Da Nag, at Ke Sahn. Most of the time they felt they couldn't go on. They fourth Victor Charlie. They fought the NVA. The people they were fighting for wanted them to go away. The only think that kept them going is the that they knew there would come a day when they would be on a plane heading for the good ol' USA. And if they lived through twelve months of hell and they made it to that plane. Most of them didn't know that nothing would ever be the same. So through the sky and clouds they flew and homeward bound they came. Only to be greeted in their country as constant forms of shame. Not as heroes, as was their right. But as villains because they went off to fight. Most did what they were told. Some pushed it and became too bold. But they were all just trying to survive, to save their own lives, to save their buddies lives.
So we built these men a monument ten years after their war. Gave ourselves a pat on the back and said we have evened the score. But all year round you will find them, crying, staring at the black granite wall. Realize, we haven't come close to evening the score at all. The names etched in the cold black stone are the ones who took the fall. For all of us.
Posted by Reilly Fitzpatrick at 7:06 PM