Monday, March 25, 2013

We find memorials all over the country. But the Onondaga County, NY Korea-Vietnam Veteran's Monument is truly haunting. Two flags, two pillars, two wars, united in their estrangement to all other wars before and since. The American Flag. The POW/MIA Flag. It never really hit me until I came home and started watching the footage we took at the monument.

Later after some research, I found out my feelings were justified. On a cold rainy night, a small committee of dedicated Syracuse Citizens broke ground, November 11th, 1983. All that reads on the monument is "FOR THOSE WHO SERVED, FOR THOSE WHO DIED, LEST WE FORGET" An appropriate statement for these wars. A fact in plain site sitting on the corner of a downtown Syracuse crossing. Two wars with a lack of resolution in each. Displayed in solid polished granite built on the five pillars of the military.

These FlagRunner stories are the most difficult to share because we are generally enthusiastic about people who fly flags! We just like people who fly flags! That is our motto. But flying the flag is not just about celebrating the country, but also remembering who we are and where we come from. This monument is a symbol but also an unfinished statement. One might read, "FOR THOSE WHO SERVED, FOR THOSE WHO DIED, LEST WE FORGET [THEM]" But I see something slightly different "FOR THOSE WHO SERVED, FOR THOSE WHO DIED, LEST WE FORGET [OURSELVES]" And we cannot take who we are for granted. Traditions. Principles. Investments.

How do you see this memorial? For a full history and pictures click here.