The Carlsbad Vietnam Memorial


The Carlsbad Vietnam Memorial may be the most California of memorials in the state. Shaped like the state in which it resides, there's no question of its origin. Although one side is pictured, names fill both sides of the memorial.

The memorial is located across the street from the Army And Navy Academy (and on the same side of the Duffield Sport Center), which was founded in 1910, making the academy 105 years old, and as I opened the hatch of my car to unload my 4X5 camera, John Philip Souza's "Stars and Stripes Forever" began playing through the academy's loud speakers, and several platoons of cadets marched by, each perfectly dressed on the right guard as a sergeant barked orders. I had arrived around 1130 and I assume they were marching to the chow hall. 

As I stood watching, a pedestrian who was walking along the sidewalk did his best to march as he passed.

This was the second memorial of the day that I'd visited, and the wind was kicking up, forcing me to wait before I could make my exposure. Although the trees and plants around the memorial blew, the memorial itself stood firm, the black marble glistening in the sunlight, unmoveable. At the academy a platoon of cadets left the chow hall and started practicing their marching along with their color guard - polishing their skills, laughing, getting in step with each other, as those before them had done for the past 105 years. And the wind blew.