To The Editor:

To all the young children that attended the closing ceremony at The Moving Wall on Monday. For this Vietnam vet, as I try to convey my thoughts and emotions of that day, I find it impossible to put into writing.

Instead, I want to tell you a story.

On arrival in Nam (in Country) you realize there are no weekends, no day or night shifts, no days off, but there was one outlet, “Letters from Home.” These letters were not just from yesterday, last week or even last month, but that did not matter. Letters from family, friends, future husband or wife.

I would take each letter from its soiled envelope, read it once, return it to the same envelope and time permitting, repeat this to the last letter, to the last day.

Back to The Moving Wall on Monday, while making my way toward the last panel, I was stunned to see all the young school children lining both sides of the walkway, smiling, clapping and eager to hand fellow vets, and myself, letters they had written in appreciation.

I can never fully express my thanks for all your understanding and support except to say this.

Today, as I open and read my letters from 44 years ago, I will also be reading letters from Elsie, Grace, Maddie, Jake and Nick.

You all will forever be part of my “Letters from Home.”

James Hartzke

St. Clair