Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oct 22, 2008 - Vietnam Memorial in Portland

This memorial located in Washington park is a Solace Garden. It consists of a 1200 foot spiral path within an immaculately landscaped bowl containing lawns, flowers and low hedges surrounded by a mixture of tall trees. Along the path are understated monuments which name soldiers killed or missing. Each monument is year specific and effectively communicates the progression of the war: a slow beginning escalating to a crescendo then diminishing before the end.

I was reminded of a labyrinth as we walked this slowly inclining circle. The act of walking in a circle is an inducer of a meditative mindset (and heart-set) and before we reached the first monument I was feeling contemplative.

Each spaced monument covers a 5-year period of the war. At the top were listed a few tidbits from everyday life in Oregon, what was happening in the nation and in the world and mile markers in the war. The rest of the memorial listed names of Oregonians who had lost their lives in the war.

The slight effort I had to put into walking this path, along with the feelings I had reading the monuments and the time to contemplate on the spiral walk filled me with thanksgiving for all the people who have defended the liberties I enjoy today. And, of course, I felt great sorrow for the lives that have been lost in preserving freedom.


Ben said...

This looks beautiful. I'm really enjoying this series of posts. I may have already commented on the bridge shots, but if not, they're great, too.

julie said...

What a unique memorial! So symbolic. I'd like to visit it someday.