29 May 2012

A Garden of Solace

In the hills above Portland, Oregon there is a garden.
It is a place to remember;
a place to honor those who were lost;
a place to find comfort.
It is the Oregon Vietnam Living Memorial.
 We enter the garden...
walking the brick pathway which leads inward
and then upward.
This was our era--
my husband's and I.
 He knows the story much better than I;
he was part of the story...
though he served in the States and not overseas as so many of our native sons did.
Many have left flowers--
a beautiful and moving symbol of life.
The pools fountain is peaceful--
its melody soothing and refreshing to those who visit here.
 This Memorial Day the garden is filled with the beauty of blooms
and the beauty of the views before you
(Mt. Hood wasn't visible on this mostly cloudy day)
 I pause again at the first memorial.
How could I not know when this conflict,
that affected the lives of so many began?
(the war ran from 1959-1976)
We pause at each of the granite memorials
to read the inscriptions on them:
little glimpses into life at that time
and over there.
And the names of those who never came home--
to this beautiful land of evergreens, snow capped mountains and wild surf;
who never came home to the ones they loved.
War takes a large, priceless toll...
let us remember to pray for peace...
both for our nation
and others.  
Let us pray for and remember the families
who have sacrificed so much during our nation's history...
let us never forget their pain;
let us pray for them to find comfort
and
peace.
Let us remember those who have fallen;
those who are left with wounds--
seen and unseen.
Let us never forget... 
for these are our sons and daughters;
our fathers and mothers;
our aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends;
our fellow countrymen.
"So long as we are not forgotten we do not die..."
Dona nobis pacem.

Dedicated to the memory of those whose names are inscribed in this garden
and in the hearts of those who loved them.
Dedicated to the memory of ALL of our fallen and wounded warriors.
May God surround you with His peace and love.

Aimee

Notes:
The Vietnam Living Memorial is located in Washington Park,
not far from the Oregon Zoo, Children's Museum and the World Forestry Center.
Parking is available near the Memorial.
All photos taken Memorial Day 2012.

4 comments:

by Teresa said...

What beautiful photos of that place. I appreciate you showing them.. we have not visited yet, but it looks so nice I will make a point of taking hubby there.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Grayseasailor said...

I did not know this memorial existed, Aimee. Thanks for taking me along with you. My oldest sister and I were talking today about how military service has affected members of our family...mental and physical scars, but no deaths... but I feel prompted to pray for we humans in the same vein as Jude did, 1:2 "Mercy peace and love be multiplied to you."

aimee said...

Teresa~
You should definitely take your husband. My DH also served during the Vietnam War, although he was never deployed to SE Asia.
If you go (easy to get there), go on a sunny day so you can see Mt Hood from the overlook and check out the International Rose Garden too--if you can find parking at the latter, that is:)
Blessings,
Aimee

aimee said...

Grace~
You are most welcome; it was my pleasure!
Yes, sadly, war definitely takes a toll on those who serve and those left at home. I pray that God would grant us peace (Dona nobis pacem, Latin for grant us peace). I like your prayer-verse; I think you just gave me the WORD for Wednesday that I have been looking for...:)
Blessings,
Aimee

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