Our first week painting the war memorial in Palatka began up on the left side of the 100 ft long, 16 ft high wall of the Guardian Ad Litem Building, St. Johns Ave. The scaffolding just barely reaches that height but with a little stretching we managed to get to the roof level with our brushes! Florida flag in! Same challenge for our lettering across the top. It will read 'Honor those who have served. (The American Flag) , and then 'Remember those who have fallen" with the POW Flag to the far right corner.
Didn't seem like much of an accomplishment for Day 1 and we fell short of our goal to have all the lettering and American flag painted in! Next day we finished another couple words ,sketched in our American flag rendition along with red stripes and a few stars...Oh those stars...so many of them! Each representing a state, as they were added to the Union so long ago...can't take it for granted...Our nation when it was young..yrs of war, peace, war, peace.. colonists, cowboys & indians, presidents, discoveries, technology, industry, more wars, immigration, more elections, greed and generosity, from sea to shining sea... So, at home that night, I cut out a star stencil for the size I thought might work. Next day I discovered it was just a little too big, and not wanting to have crowded overlapping white stars on our flag, we worked on some lettering for our first panel instead. The panel was to be entitled 'Vietnam War 1959 - 1975' but our scaffolding was positioned off to the right where the word 'War' would begin, and so I painted that word first, along with the dates. but Ed was a little concerned to leave it that way, like an unfinished thought, a 3 letter word and nothing more than the dates. .. what would it look like without the word 'Vietnam' ..a violent suggestion? no I hope not! Make Love not 'War'? certainly not that! So for just one night it was an unexplained, generic 'WAR'! Next day we moved the scaffolding to the left and made sense of the title, and I also came prepared with a smaller star stencil for our flag! It worked just fine, and we proceeded with the 1st Vietnam scene...'Operation Pershing' 1967... South Vietnam 'For nearly a year the division scoured the Bong Son Plain, An Lo valley and the hills of costal II Corps, seeking out enemy units and their sanctuaries. Pershing became a tedious, unglamorous mission that produced 18 major engagements and numerous minor skirmishes in the 11 month campaign.'
|First of 3 paintings for the first panel...Operation Pershing|
|a telegraph operator during Operation Pershing|