We Remember Resource Center Community Heals Events Volunteer Visitors Journal
 
Stories Behind the Faces
 

"It's not possible to repay those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. But at the least, we need to remember them. And we need to honor them. By doing so, we do honor to ourselves.

The task of honoring and remembering those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War was seen by many in Rochester as well as around the country as incomplete.

That's why the community, led by a dedicated group composed of veterans and non-veterans alike, undertook a decade-long crusade to design, fund, and build a memorial to each of the 280 men from our area who gave their all in service to country.

The result is a uniquely powerful memorial that lives up to its mission: to commemorate, to educate, to heal.

The memorial commemorates the 280 men with the Walk of Honor, comprised of 280 bollards, one bollard standing for each individual life lost.

The memorial educates using maps of the theatre of conflict, and timeline that details the highlights the major events of the war, and provides the larger context of the broader political and cultural events.

Finally, the memorial heals, by offering veterans, families and the entire community a solemn, even sacred, environment in which to find some measure of peace by reflecting on this once divisive war and paying tribute to the fallen; and by honoring as well those who returned home wounded nonetheless -- physically, emotionally or spiritually.

What should be clear is that to appreciate the memorial, one needs to experience it. The memorial invites visitors to participate, not merely observe. As many first-time visitors have attested, one proceeds through the memorial as on a journey, only to emerge at the end somehow transformed."

Barry Culhane
President Emeritus, Vietnam Veterans
Memorial of Greater Rochester