ETC: A Reflection on the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall


From The outdoor memorial was promoted as the largest of its kind and the only wall that honors veterans from all service branches (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine). The beautiful, 65 foot-long black granite monument contains the names of servicemen and women from World War I through Operation Desert Storm and the war on terrorism. In front of the wall stands a torch whose eternal flame burns in “proud remembrance and humble tribute”.

Author’s Note: I wrote this poem while visiting the wall several years ago. Image

As the wall stands at attention, its hardness reminds me of hardships endured during military service.

As it speaks thousands of names, the professionally engraved names remind me of the precision and professional nature of each veteran and his/her training.

As white lettering is embedded into its black panels, I’m reminded of the distinctive difference in living in freedom – and living without it
Its angled wall tops seem to symbolize an eternal, upward salute to those whom it honors and memorializes.

It reflective nature casts my image back.
And now I realize anew
That each of those many, many names
Represent men and women
Who all died for the same person –



(Photos courtesy of


3 thoughts on “ETC: A Reflection on the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall

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