The city of Washington was lucky enough to have the traveling Vietnam Memorial replica come to our Veterans Park this week. I have always had a place in my heart
for this memorial.
My cousin Susan Smith was happily married with 2 young boys when her husband Jim Chipman, an Air Force pilot, was shot down and never found. Her youngest son Matt was just a baby. During High School Matt and I became good friends and I always felt bad that he didn't get to know his father especially because of the sacrifice he gave us. The summer before my Sr. year I went to Washington D.C. with JoEllen and my parents to see this memorial in person. I can't explain the feeling that comes over you as you walk towards it. By the time a volunteer helped us find Jim and make a rubbing of his name I was in tears. The spirit is so strong there. I have been lucky enough to go a second time to D.C. later with Joel to show him this amazing sight. A couple of years ago the traveling wall came to the Dixie Center in St. George and we took the kids over to see it. Josh was really affected by it and has had a love for the military ever since. I wouldn't be surprised if he chooses to be in it.
Washington Elementary (Burke Staheli) loves to have the kids involved in all things like this, so today when the military had a program in the park to dedicate the ground Burke made sure that his 1st and 4th grade classes where there to sing songs and read poems. I am lucky enough to have Josh in 5th and Ben in 1st so I got to see them both. I think that it is very important for our youth to know of these incredible Heroes who died for them. These veterans should never and will never be forgotten.
If you would like to read more about Jim click here.