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Stories Untold: Vietnam Memorial Reminds of the Cost of Sacrifice

It’s easy to get swept up in the rushing onward current of life, thinking about where time’s waters are taking you next instead of taking inventory of your existing surroundings. 

You’ve likely passed the imposing structure silently standing on the mall concourse outside of the Michigan Hall of Justice in downtown Lansing without giving it a moment’s consideration. Yet it only takes a pause at the Michigan Vietnam Veterans Monument for the sobering reality of the 2,651 names of Michigan casualties from the conflict to sink in and slow life’s forward momentum for a few seconds of sacred thoughtfulness.  

The Vietnam War still means many things to many people today the same way it caused divisions and upended families five decades ago. 

My father served in the Vietnam War. He is the greatest storyteller I know; however, like many veterans, he rarely talked about his time in the military, let alone the years spent during wartime. On the occasion that he would tell a tale from the past, I would sit with bated breath for each new detail. 

vietnam memorial

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