Probably most of you saw my post remembering Vietnam Veterans Day earlier this week. If you didn’t get a chance to check it out yet, you can find it here.
With it being a time set aside to thank our Vietnam Veterans, I thought that this week I would do a post reflecting on their service and sacrifice.
The Vietnam War was one of our longest wars and most definitely our most controversial war. This past week marked the 40th anniversary of when the Vietnam Wall began to be built, and on April 30th it will be the 47th anniversary of the war’s end. I am not diving into all the nitty gritty behind the war today, but I would like to talk about The Wall.
There are 58,267 names inscribed on the wall.
I just have to say, that is a lot of heroes right there. I don’t care what some would say. Those men and women on the wall were heroes. Many of them were so young, yet they served their country with honor. Some years around Veterans Day, every name on the Vietnam Wall is read out loud in ceremony style. Every single one of the 58,267 men and women who gave their lives in Vietnam and whose names are inscribed on the wall are honored. It takes around four consecutive days for all of the names to be read, but if you ask me, it’s the least that can be done. Their lives, service, and sacrifice need to be remembered.
So who are these heroes? Let’s look at some facts about them.
- 39,996 were 22 years old or Younger
- 8,283 were 19
- 33,103 were 18 years old
- 12 were 17
- 5 were 16
- 1 was 15
- There are three sets of Fathers and Sons on the Wall
- 31 sets of parents lost 2 of their sons
- 997 of these heroes were killed their first day in Vietnam
- 1,448 of these heroes were killed on their last day
- 8 women have their names on the wall
- 153 of the 244 soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor during the War are on the Wall
- There is a circle symbol that was designated to be used next to the name of persons on the wall listed as MIA, in the event that they returned. To this day there is not one circle on the wall.
These aren’t just numbers and statistics. These were men and women who had families and loved ones waiting for them to come home. These were people who understood what it meant to honor one’s country — to protect her against all enemies.
It isn’t just a black, granite wall. It’s a constant reminder of the price that freedom costs. It’s a memorial to those we lost, and a testament to the future generation’s to show that America has been protected and guarded by our nation’s finest so that we can enjoy the freedom we do today.
I hope that this week’s post maybe offered you a little insight into who these heroes were. Have you ever been to The Wall? Let me know in the comments!