Monday, October 19, 2015

Ocean Springs, Mississippi: Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Tourist attractions sometimes pop up in unexpected places. Like Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Therefore, just down the road to the entrance to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, is a sign telling drivers to turn in order to see the Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Sure enough, it's in a nice park, near several buildings filled by government agencies.

The centerpiece is the structure shown here. It contains the names of the 667 people from this state who died in the Vietnam War. Many have images as well; you can see some of them on the wall.

The question, then is: why here?

According to one newspaper story, the project was driven by Vietnamese immigrants who wanted to thank America for its efforts in trying to bring freedom to their country. They also hoped the idea would bring some healing to all concerned.

This structure is surrounded by the All Veterans Walkway, dedicated to all veterans who served the nation in the military.

By the way, the brochure at the park says the Walkway "leads to the entrance of the most magnificent memorial in all the United States - The Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial."

Gee, with that sort of rhetoric, you'd think they could have charged admission.

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