Sunday, October 19, 2003

Healing Wall

I visited Camp Nelson Heritage park In Jessamine County yesterday.  I try to avoid Nicholasville Rd. as much as possible, but I braved the Saturday traffic to go see the Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial.

This is a half-scale replica of the memorial in the nations capitol.  All 58,000+ names of the veterans killed or MIA are half-scale, but the emotion and honor surrounding the county side yesterday was nothing half-scale.

I wish I could figure out how to use my digital camera so I could share the images with you all.

At approximately 130pm, the Rolling Thunder arrived. For as far as the eye could see, they came. 200 bikes at least.  Following a lead motorcyle displaying the black POW/MIA flag along side the American flag.

Black leather, gray hair, salt and pepper beards, canes, balding heads, and limps they came to pay their respects. 

At the bottom of a sloping hill  stood a man in the full Scottish kilt uniform, playing  the soft mournful sounds of a lone bag pipe  as the bikers dismounted and slowly made their way to the Wall.

I knew plenty of men who went to Nam.  I am unusually blessed that everyone I knew came home.  Yet looking at all those names on the Wall I felt like I knew them.  Knew of them, we all do.

One name jumped out at me.  Jimmie Joe Jett.  What a great name.  What a great life, a special life he could have had.  He was one of 58,229 who gave their lives that this world be a better place not only for Americans, but for everyone.


gil said...

Growing up in Los Angeles, Jimmie Joe
Jett was one of seven Jett's.
Jimmie was one amazing young man and my best friend.
I recently visited his grave to honor my friend and visit him on his 60th birthday. It was as if no time had passed, as I viewed his grave marker.
Thanks for mentioning this fallen soldier and never forgotten friend.
Regards, Gilbert Ortiz, L.A. Calif.

Donna Jett said...

This was my late husbands brother. He was a wonderful person that I was not lucky enough to meet although I have always felt as though I have known him. My husband and I would talk about Jimmie often . Sadly my husband and Jimmie kept missing each other in Germany and in Viet Nam.
I too went to visit Jimmie on his 60th birthday.
Recently the traveling wall was in Simi Valley , Ca. I was able to make editching's of Jimmie Joe Jett .
There are many family member's that were named after this wonderful fallen soldier.
He is loved and missed by many.
I can only hope that my husband is at piece and the two are together again.
Thank you for this post.Gil thank you for the link.
Donna Jett