Kit is GS Beutifall


When I saw the task for this week I knew immideatly what I wanted to do. Back in 1999 I was on vacation in the US and while in Washington DC this photo was taken at the Vietnam Memorial. I was so touched by the memorial. Here is my journaling from the travel journal of that day. I tried to translate it, but I'm not sure if I did it correctly. Please be patient with my englisch and the long journaling:


 


As we got nearer to the Vietnam Memorial my emotions changed. If you haven't seen by yourself, you couldn't imagine the size and what it means. The wall is from black granite, with more than 58.000 names of the amercian victims of the Vietnam war.


I stand in front of the wall and had a lump in my throat. To think, these are „only“ the victims of one war... Thinking about it, I'm in tears again. I had to think of my grandfather and that I didn't listen to him, when he spoke about being in confinement in Russia after world war 2, that my grandmother said he wasn't the same man when he came back , at my mom, who didn't have a father till she was 10 and that the war I was thinking about was more than 50 years ago between the land I was visiting and my home country, but still affects the people. The war, the wall told about was 30 years ago and it seems like a long time ago. We walked beside the wall. Everywhere there were letter and other mementos. We saw a small bottle of Whiskey, with a note attached „Here is the Whisky we wanted to drink after you returned home, Your brother in law“. In the meantime I had lost the battle against the tears and was crying really hard. One of the park rangers asked me, if we were looking for someone special and I told him, tht we are from Germany and don't have relatives in the US. We talked for quite some time and he said, that if this wall makes sure, that people like me get touched by it deeply, we might get a chance to stop wars. He told me a story of one of his colleagues. He had found a woman at the wall one early morning sitting there and smoking. He told her, that smoking was forbidden and she said, that she knew that, but today way here wedding day and she wanted to smoke one last cigarette with her former fiance.


We took a look at the big book with all the names in it, so you could find your relatieves. There was a woman with her grown up daughter and the mother said to her daughter, „let's see, where we can find dad“. The ranger offered them to trace the name with a piece of paper and a pencil. I knew, I wanted to take home a name with me as well, to always remember. There was nobody with my last name in the book, but we found somebody with my motheres maidenname.


Whe leaving the memorial we saw a soldier parading the wall and saluting from time to time. Perhaps he had found former friends.


 


During the translation I had to stop multiple times, because the tears were coming back, even after all this time. The photo was taken almost 20 years ago and I'm still hoping for a more peacefull future.