Americans from every corner of our country have served in the Armed Services, often without fanfare or praise. Every single person on the Heroes Wall in Biddeford should feel more than honored. The wall to the ones who served is a special piece of them and it is highly valued.
Charles B. Snow stould out to me the most especially the medals awarded to him from the Vietnam War. Snow had about nine medals and badges in total. The medals and badges he was awarded were the Expert Badge M-16, Expert Badge M-14, Expert Badge- Grenade, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Purple Heart- combat wounds- loss of leg, Graduate Non-Commissioned officers School, and Scout Dog Handlers School.
He served in the U.S. Armym as a member of the infantry. As an individual he had an important role. Being a part of the infantry meant that he was the main land combat and backbone of the army. Meaning, he was responsible for keeping our country safe from threats. Also, while capturing and destroying enemy ground forces, Snow served from 1968-1970 and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant.
The wall, in general, seems most meaningful to the community at large. As a member of this community myself, I feel so thankful when I look at these types of things. To think someone risked their life to give other humans all these wonderful opportunities that they fought for. I honor them every day. Especially since most of the people on the wall were drafted and forced to fight or they would’ve been shamed. The community at large is grateful for all the people have served. They made America what it is today and all the people who have served should feel very honored.
The Heroes Wall in Biddeford has stood over the peaceful town of Biddeford for just over a year, commemorating numerous heroes who either served or lost their lives in service for the United States Military. The wall displays achievements made by each soldier in the field of battle, all the way back from the bloody beaches of Normandy in 1944, to the never-ending crisis occurring to this day in Afghanistan.
I think the wall is not just for remembering the soldiers lost in war, but also to everyday people as well.
Many people don’t understand the job a soldier has, the danger they face every day, and the bravery it takes to even enlist in the military. Some kids think that wars are the same as video games, that war is cool and they think the things they play on the television is the same as real life.
In my opinion, the wall is most meaningful to the people, when I looked at the wall, I realized that soldiers are people too, they have feelings, and they have fears. It is important to distinguish between movies and reality, and I think memorials like this wall can remind people that every soldier has a past, it’s not like in the movies where some random guy gets shot and nobody cares, in real life, each soldier has family, each soldier has reason to live, each soldier is the main character.
The Heroes Wall is not just any regular wall, It is a symbol to people that the military is only fit for the bravest of people, and proves that war is no joke.
As the bus pulled to the parking lot, I saw a grey wall standing on a lawn – the local veterans memorial called Heroes Wall. At first, I was a bit unimpressed – in Europe, memorials are usually in a special place, they are decorated with golden letters and there are almost always some wreaths or candles, while this one was standing next to a road near an ugly storage building and without a single flower. Additionally, as a person coming from a country where most people associate military with the despised mandatory training all men had to go through during the communistic era, the whole concept of American wars and war veterans is something I can’t relate to at all.
With this in mind, I started to look through the stories on the wall, and slowly realized that this mural isn’t just another class trip I had to go to. But the true meaning of the wall didn’t hit me until I saw one of my classmates point at a man on the wall, saying that it’s her grandpa.
Although I was aware of the purpose of the wall from the beginning, it wasn’t till this very moment when I finally fully understood the importance it has for the local community, because it reminded me of my own great grandpa, and his name on the memorial dedicated to holocaust victims.
Standing there in the cold and rain, my point of view suddenly changed – I saw all those men and women portrayed there not just as photos engraved into stone, but as real people, mothers, fathers, children, friends – important people.
They transformed in my mind and became people who came from this area and whose families might live a few blocks down the road.
Being a war veteran or having a war victim in your family is a struggle we can’t truly imagine. It’s extremely important to honor people who risked and often lost their lives to protect their country, because showing love, appreciation and support for them and their families is the least we can do.