Monday, May 25, 2009
Classic Post: Those you know were affected
Last May, the traveling Vietnam Memorial was on exhibit in Wadsworth, Ohio. My family and I went to see this and the traveling museum that went along with it. There was an air of reverence in the town square those days as folks were looking for names of family members and others they know. I would think that the servicemen who lost their lives during the Vietnam war would never imagine people taking pictures of their names on a wall using their telephones. Following is a post I originally wrote on May 31, 2008. There was also an edit made to the original post.
I was 13 years old at the time. I remember my sister showing my mom the Medina County Gazette this particular day exclaiming that Pat Duffy had died.
During the Vietnam War, whenever someone from Medina County had died in combat, that would be the main headline of the day, complete with a large photo of this now deceased hero. I recall that one family in my town had been notified that their son had died in Vietnam, the story and photo had been run in the Gazette, only to have the story retraced the next day. It was, thankfully, a case of mistaken identity.
Sgt. James P. Duffy Jr was a friend of my cousin Billy. I knew him casually but since he was 7 years older than I, we had nothing in common. Pat was one of those young men who was drafted into the service, so he had no choice of joining the army or where he was to be deployed.
I got this computer printout when I went to the information center(you can click on it to enlarge) and one thing I noticed was that had Pat Duffy not been killed in action, he would now be a few weeks short of his 61st birthday. He went to 'nam when he was 20. At the time, he couldn't vote, couldn't drink hard liquor, but he was required to fight and die for his country.
Instead of being almost 61, Pat Duffy is forever 20.
This was one post of a series that ran for about a week from May 30-to about June 5, 2008.