Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Vietnam Vet Sees Meaning in Black Wall ; Traveling Memorial Honors Fallen

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Vietnam Vet Sees Meaning in Black Wall ; Traveling Memorial Honors Fallen

Article excerpt

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. - American flags lined the path that Jeffersonville resident Charlie White walked. He stood in quiet contemplation in front of the black wall, gazing at the many names engraved on it and listening to the names of those lost echoing overhead. A World War II Navy veteran, White understands the meaning of the words sacrifice and remembrance.

"I wouldn't miss this event," White told the News and Tribune. "They did not have an appreciation of Vietnam. It was misunderstood and the guys coming home did not have much of the parade and ceremonies that they had after WW II."

Other visitors strolled along the same route in front of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall outside of the Clarksville Municipal Building this past week. Some were wearing their dress blues. Many donned caps that told of their military service. A few had canes; still fewer were pushed in wheelchairs. All ages, both veterans and civilian, came to this place of homage to pay tribute to those who laid down their lives for their country.

Resting on a bench at the site, Army veteran Dennis Lawrence reminisced about his one-year tour in Vietnam. He said he had several friends on the wall, but choose not to locate their names.

"I just don't look their names up. If I do, I'm going to bawl like a baby. They're all my brothers and sisters. It's just like a family," Lawrence said.

He remembered a time when Vietnam War veterans didn't always receive respect. When the Fairdale, Ky., resident returned home after his service, a young boy, in the presence of his father, approached him and said that he didn't like his military hat. Lawrence replied he didn't like the boy's attitude.

"When we went over, it was an unliked war," Lawrence said. "When I came home, I got spit on, called baby killer and all that stuff. That's just the way it goes. You didn't get anything when you came back. (You were) talked to like you was a dog."

Around the time of the first war in Iraq, Lawrence noticed a change in attitude about Vietnam among the American people.

"Now we get more respect, but the idea is to the point that I don't care what they say," he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.