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Posted: 12/23/2003 11:20:05 PM EDT
In Bedford, VA?  I went today and I'm pretty thoroughly unimpressed.  I'd tell you why but I've got a lot of complaints and I may well be ttoo drunk to list them.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:38:38 PM EDT
I'll give it a shot anyhow.

Firstly, it's obvious they spent a lot of money on that mother.  There's a lot of marble, and it's a big fucking memorial.  But it still feels slapped together.  There's a Piper (Cherokee?) observation A/C on one end a the anchor and bell from a ship on the other, with plaques in front of both.  Both plaques are blank.  In fact, the plaques all over the place are highly fucked.  I saw two unit plaques in totally random spots: one for A company 3/116 Inf., the unit from Bedford, and one for the 222nd Searchlight Battalion.  Now, this is supposed to be an all encompassing, international D-Day mem, and while I understand the plaque for Alpha Company, why is the only other one for the 222nd Searchlight?  WTF?  There's also a row of plaques behind the main "landing beach" feature, that are supposed to be panels a la the Vietnam War Memorial.  Except there's absolutely nothing to tell you who the names on the plaques are.  There's only 50 or so plaques with maybe 30 names on each, so I know it's not all the American dead on D-Day.  One thing the plaques are consistent on, tho: mentioning the name of the architect/sculptor.  He's on just about every one.  Most of the rest of the plaques are taken up with commentary on how symbolic the features of the memorial are.  You know, I like my symbolism subtle-like.  I don't need to be told about how the D-Day arch is made of special symbolic marble and is 44.5 feet high to symbolize 6 Jun '44 and how the architectural frescos are Franco-Flemish to celebrate the contribution of the Dutch to the invasion-that's not something I'm going to reflect upon.  Put it in the brochure, not the plaques.

I'll tell you for a second about the fountains, too.  In the beach diorama they have these fountains that shoot out randomly, supposedly symbolizing gunfire.  Forget how bad the beach scene sucks, lemme just tell you about the fountains.  They look nothing like gunfire hitting water.  And they make this terrible oh-shit-honey-call-the-plumber noise like "SPPPOOIII-ch-OINKKKK".  It's hard to reflect on the sacrifice of the men who participated in the invasion of Europe when that noise is kicking in the background.

I could go on.  I haven't really touched the beach tableau, or the incredibly confused and badly placed semi-Point-du-Hoc sculpture, or the general layout, or the sorry-ass "symbolic landing craft", or the $10 entry fee, or the lack of historical perspective available...I was just really pissed off at how damn bad this monument is.  Anybody else have any input?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:28:37 AM EDT
I've not been there but FWIW the D-Day Museum in New Orleans is outstanding!

Too bad the Memorial sounds kinda poorly done.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:37:45 AM EDT

Sorry Pal, you missed the point. It is a fitting site to honor the missing parts of our lives. I go there and find comfort and a little piece of understanding everytime I vist. Everyone has an opinion, this is mine.
[b]29 Let's Go[/b]
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:46:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 5:46:52 AM EDT by machaira]
its still a work in progress they say. i know they had some financial shortfalls - it takes a lot of cash to put one of these sites together AND keep it up.   our dept.(my former dept.)is repsonsible for the NC vietnam vets memorial in davdison co at the i-85 rest area.  we inherited a mess and are continually fighting it.
i go to bedford look at the memorial, and talk to the old vets who volunteer there.  interesting men with fascinating stories.  
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 6:58:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By PVFD304:

Sorry Pal, you missed the point. It is a fitting site to honor the missing parts of our lives. I go there and find comfort and a little piece of understanding everytime I vist. Everyone has an opinion, this is mine.
[b]29 Let's Go[/b]
View Quote

Hey bud, don't get me wrong.  I'm certainly not quibbling with the intent of the memorial, just the execution.  

I used to be a 29er myself, 11H in the 3/116.  I also used to have a girlfriend whose grandfather was from Bedford and survived the landing.  I also had two ancestors who died while serving with the 2nd Virginia.  So trust me, I'm not missing the point.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:19:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 10:35:33 AM EDT by PVFD304]
Ok, I just got a little mad when someone downs a memorial. We must remember the lives lost, this is the most important part. I am passing history down to my kid's generation, as it was passed to me. I feel I now have a place to take them to now.

The most moving one I have ever been to is the Vietnam Memorial in DC.
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