Experiencing The Wall | AspenTimes.com

Experiencing The Wall

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

What I saw happen in Aspen when the Vietnam Veterans Traveling Tribute, The Wall, came to town just astounds me.

I volunteered to help because I believe in supporting our veterans in any way possible. I came away from this experience with more emotion and thought than I could ever have imagined. This is a living piece of history. It is a one-of-a-kind memorial which evokes emotion and reaction in almost every person.

I am ashamed to admit that I knew very little about the Vietnam War. I was a senior in high school when the very last of the troops came home. I did not watch TV very much, did not pay attention to the war, did not involve myself at all with what was going on outside my hometown. I was working through school, going out on dates and just being a young adult who thought friends were the most important thing in my life. Who would have imagined then I would someday be a U.S. Army veteran?

Being a part of this event has made my life richer in so many ways. From the moment I volunteered what little time I had to offer, everyone was accepting and grateful to have me on board. The Vietnam vets are a group of people that have been through hell and back, and are just beginning to feel welcome again. This weekend I learned more about people that have unlimited compassion, forgiveness, strength and fortitude.

I would like to thank the following people who made this event happen, and whose perseverance touched the lives of many over the weekend: John and Sunny, Norm and Kathy, Janis, Dick, Jamie, Jay, Howie, Richard, Nancy, Brenda, Jeanne and Stephanie. Each of you gave something to me that I will hold in my heart. To all the volunteers, thank you for all your hard work.

To all the Vietnam vets: Welcome home.

Janine Barth

Snowmass Village

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