Saturday, June 2, 2012

401. Softly

401. Softly
Definition: (adv) in a quiet voice or with a gentle manner
Location Placed: New Jersey Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, Holmdel, New Jersey
Date Placed: 6/2/12 at 2:39pm

Despite the number of times I had been at the PNC Bank Arts Center next door for concerts and graduations, I had never made it over to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I'm glad I made a trip out there to visit it today. It has to be one of the most impressively symbolic memorials I've had the pleasure of visiting. As per my Vietnam Vet tour guide, every little detail was a symbol of something. From the placement of the trees (the spacing of soldiers in the jungles), to the ground plants on the different levels (one grown red berries symbolizing the bloodshed, the other symbolizing the dense jungle top), to the statue in the middle (3 people of different races helping and protecting one another.) It was really impressive and emotional. The museum next door, in addition to giving a lot of history and scale dioramas, had actual letters that were sent by soldiers to their families and loved ones, and letters to the soldiers. The most heart-breaking was the letter from a mother to her son saying he was going to be a first time father, followed by a letter to her that signified that he had passed away. It was a very touching place. And I very much so appreciated my veteran tour guide and the stories that he was able to tell us. The sort that the history books don't really get into. If you get a chance, definitely check it out.

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