Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imagePhoto Essay: Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, the Healing Wall Special

By Elizabeth Batt     Aug 25, 2013 in Lifestyle
Whitefish - The Healing Wall, the Traveling Wall replica of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington D.C., arrived in Whitefish on Aug. 22, and will depart tomorrow.
It was the first time the wall had been displayed in the Flathead Valley and the only place it will stop in Montana this year.
Although the Vietnam War remains one of the most controversial wars in US History, the sacrifice of 58,272 military personnel between 1957 to 1975 cannot be debated.
The Moving Wall, a half-sized replica of its original counterpart, was first displayed in 1984. It has since visited over 1,000 communities around the country.
Names are listed chronologically, according to the date of casualty within each day. The list starts and ends at the apex of the wall and begins with the year 1959.
A panoramic shot of the entire wall. Symbols are used to denote status. A diamond indicates a person...
A panoramic shot of the entire wall. Symbols are used to denote status. A diamond indicates a person's death was confirmed; crosses or pluses indicate a missing/unaccounted for person; a circle will be inscribed if a person comes back alive. There are no circles yet on the wall.
Jan Scruggs, the Founder and President of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, said:
If all of the names could be in one place, these names would have great power. A power to heal. It would have power for individual veterans, but collectively, they would have even greater power to show the enormity of the sacrifices that were made.
For the families, friends and comrades of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, the wall offered a chance to grieve.
A woman on her knees, stroked a name lovingly over and over again with her fingers and sobbed quietly. Whether brother, father, cousin, uncle or son, the pain is keenly felt for those who lost loved ones too early, and too young.
The first two names are listed on the date July 8  1959. The wall begins and ends at the apex so the...
The first two names are listed on the date July 8, 1959. The wall begins and ends at the apex so they meet. It symbolizes that the war is complete, having come full circle.
For Richard Batt, visiting from Idaho, the name he was seeking was that of Gary A. Holsclaw. As a sergeant and later Police Chief of the small town of Rocklin, California, Batt knew pretty much everyone, including the Holsclaw family.
He recalled pulling Holsclaw over just a few days before he was deployed to Vietnam with the Marine Corps. "There was a big party at Whitney Ranch for all the boys that were going over," he said. Young kids he added, "18, 19, 20 age range."
"For some reason," Batt continued, "a bunch of them decided to get in a car, probably to go get more beer," he explained. The police officer spotted the group hollering and whooping as they drove down the road. Feet hanging out of the car, Batt pulled them over on a traffic stop.
"They were all hanging out the windows," Batt laughs, "so I made sure there was a sober boy driving and then asked them to open the trunk."
With a trunk full of beer and a couple of open containers, Batt made them dump out the open containers. He then confiscated the beer from the trunk.
"They were all hollering 'Oh no! Oh no!'," Batt said, but he assured them that he was just returning the beer to the party. "Keep your feet inside the car," he warned them, "and no more driving tonight!"
"Yes Sir!" they promised.
"Of the group inside the car," Batt said softly, "two never came back."
One of those was LCPL Gary Holsclaw of Loomis, and the other was SGT. Jack Harris (US Army) of Roseville. They were aged 19-years and 21-years-old respectively. Batt found Holsclaw's name on panel 2E, line 104.
Holsclaw was killed in the Vietnam War on July 2  1967.
Holsclaw was killed in the Vietnam War on July 2, 1967.
A single rose ringed by US flags rests against the wall. Whether it s for one name or all of the 58 ...
A single rose ringed by US flags rests against the wall. Whether it's for one name or all of the 58,272 lost, we will never know.
Closing ceremonies for the wall took place today and commenced with guest speaker Commander Ryan Zinke. Echo Taps, played in honor of those killed in action, rounded out the ceremony.
Tonight, the wall will be dismantled; it departs Whitefish tomorrow under escort.
Flags flicker in the breeze. Placed by loved ones and strangers  the Healing Wall offers a chance to...
Flags flicker in the breeze. Placed by loved ones and strangers, the Healing Wall offers a chance to remember and a moment to mourn.
The Vietnam War lasted for 16 years, the final casualty occurred in May 1975. For thousands of families whose lives were forever changed, they will never forget.
More about Vietnam war, vietnam veteran's memorial wall, veterans of vietnam, Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall
More news from