My husband I had the honor of seeing the traveling wall at Lakeland College in Kirtland, Ohio. It was truly a moving experience.....especially seeing the mementos, flowers, poetry.....expressions of love left by visitors. My husband and I were truly moved.........the Wall in Washington must be totally overwhelming! I am grateful to have seen it and grateful and saddened by the sacrifice of these men and women - truly all Heroes. After we came home I decided to put some thoughts to paper and after sharing them with friends was encouraged by Catherine Anne McNeill (a contributor to From The Heart) to send it in. Here it does come From My Heart.


The Wall stretched on
A wedge glistening in the rain
Black as night ~
Softened by the names thereon
We knew them not, but stood in awe
Realizing their sacrifice ~ their gift ~
Our hearts would surely break to know
These sons and daughters
Husbands and wives
and yes, mothers and fathers
Loved by so many ~ their lives taken
We prayed ~ our tears fell
Watching as trembling hands
Lovingly traced name after name
Not wanting to leave this place of honor
So connected in their grief
Flowers were left in tribute
American flags fluttered beside
Photographs of families left behind
Unused baseball tickets
A worn canteen
Young faces smiling, wearing jungle green
Letters of love and poems of praise
Children's drawings of thanks
Rosaries of every color left with love
No mistaking the dent in the earth
Where someone knelt to pray
And through this day and the hours to come
Nature washed the wall with her tears
As the names of more than 58,000
Echoed on the wind ~~~

God bless Them All !

Judith Patton Flynn
Memorial Day, May, 29, 2000