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assemblage

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 27114
  • Accession Date:9/22/1994
  • Item Summary:Artifact assemblage consisting of a "KATHOLIKON" Central Catholic High School (Dubois, Pennsylvania) yearbook for the graduating Class of 1967, a military issue, U.S. Marine Corps graduation book (Platoon 138- Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, 1966), and a military issue, U.S. Marine Corps graduation photograph for Platoon 138. A handwritten inscription upon the interior surface of the graduation photograph from, "USMC / Chu Lai / 1966-1967 / Lcpl Romus D. Tiskus" reads, "The words still won't come to express the load I still carry, we were so young when we went and so old when we returned. / It is too painful at times to remember, but it is a pain that I carry with Pride & Honor today. / To my fallen Brothers of the Night, the words still won't come, but then maybe none need to be spoken." The artifact assemblage was left at The Wall by U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam veteran Lance Corporal (LCpl) Romus D. Tiskus between July - September 1994.

letter, printed

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 27867
  • Accession Date:11/27/1996
  • Item Summary:Printed, laminated letter dedicated to U.S. Army Sergeant (SGT) Robert T. Smith. The letter is headed, "DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY / Company D (Ranger), 151st Infantry / APO San Francisco 96266", is addressed to, "Mrs. Robert T. Smith", is signed, "Sincerely yours, / GEORGE M HECKMAN / MAJOR, Infantry / Commanding", is dated, "28 APR 1969", and opens with the line, "I am sure that you have been informed of the death of your husband, Sgt Robert T. Smith, in the vicinity of Bien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 12 April 1969." In content, the letter explicates the circumstances of SGT Smith's death in combat in Vietnam and offers condolences on behalf of MAJ Heckman and SGT Smith's unit, "Company D (Ranger), 151st Infantry". The artifact was left at The Wall, presumably by SGT Smith's widow [?], in November 1996.

poems, printed


See all photos (2)

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.
  • Catalog Number:VIVE 27353
  • Accession Date:11/27/1996
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: MICHAEL A MACHIE
  • Item Summary:Two (2) printed poems dedicated to U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal (LCpl) Michael Allen Machie. The poems are entitled, "FEELINGS" and, "ALL IN A ROW", respectively, and are by author, "Ken Ainsworth". A handwritten inscription upon one poem reads, "Mike Machie / KIA 1968 / I ride in your memory my brother / until we meet agin [sic] peace be with you / yo-yo". The artifacts were left at The Wall by U.S. Army & Vietnam veteran and author Ken "Yo-Yo" Ainsworth in November 1996.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00156
  • Record Component Qty:2
  • Item Description:TWO (2) PRINTED POEMS DEDICATED TO U.S. MARINE CORPS LANCE CORPORAL (LCPL) MICHAEL ALLEN MACHIE. EACH OBJECT CONSISTS OF A POEM PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF WHITE, UNLINED PAPER AFFIXED TO A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED METAL SUBSTRATE (POSSIBLY ALUMINUM [?]) VIA STRIPS OF CLEAR, ADHESIVE SCOTCH TAPE. THE FIRST (1ST) POEM IS ENTITLED, "FEELINGS", IS BY U.S. ARMY & VIETNAM VETERAN AND AUTHOR, "KEN AINSWORTH", AND CONSISTS OF FIVE (5) STANZAS AND TWENTY-ONE (21) TOTAL LINES, ARRANGED THUSLY: 4-4-4-4-5. IN CONTENT, THE POEM ADDRESSES THE AUTHOR'S STRUGGLE AND PAIN TO OVERCOME HIS EXPERIENCES IN VIETNAM, NOTES THE IMPOSSIBLE NATURE OF THE TASK ASSIGNED TO AMERICAN MILITARY FORCES IN VIETNAM AND THE DESIRE OF THOSE SERVICE MEMBERS TO DO WHAT THEY FELT WAS RIGHT, AND CHARACTERIZES THE MEN WHO SERVED TOGETHER AS FRIENDS AND BROTHERS WHO, "[...] WATCHED AND LOOKED OUT FOR EACH OTHER / IN A WAR THAT COULD NEVER BE WON". THE POEM CLOSES WITH THE LINES, "GOING TO NAM GAVE LIFE MORE MEANING / BUT THE MEANING IS STILL NOT RIGHT / BECAUSE WHEN I SLEEP / MY FEELINGS ARE SO DEEP / THAT IN MY DREAMS I STILL FIGHT". AT THE LOWER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE POEM THE AUTHOR'S NAME AND MILITARY SERVICE INFORMATION, "KEN AINSWORTH / "YO-YO" / STERLING, CT / 1ST CAV. 2/8 / VIETNAM" IS PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS TO THE PROPER LEFT-HAND SIDE OF A FULL COLOR PRINTED REPRODUCTION OF A MILITARY ISSUE, U.S. ARMY 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA (I.E. A YELLOW TRIANGULAR NORMAN SHIELD WITH ROUNDED CORNERS, A BLACK EXTERIOR BORDER, AND A BLACK STRIPE EXTENDING DIAGONALLY OVER THE SHIELD FROM THE UPPER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER DOWN TO THE LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER, AS WELL AS A BLACK SILHOUETTE OF A HORSE'S HEAD FACING PROPER RIGHT AT THE UPPER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER). AFFIXED TO THE LOWER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE POEM, VIA STRIPS OF CLEAR, ADHESIVE SCOTCH TAPE, IS A BUSINESS CARD BELONGING TO KEN AINSWORTH PRINTED IN BLACK AND ORANGE INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT UPON A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SEGMENT OF CARDSTOCK. AT THE PROPER RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THE BUSINESS CARD IS A REPRODUCTION OF THE COMBAT VETS OF CONNECTICUT MOTORCYCLE CLUB INSIGNIA (I.E. AN ARCHED TAB BEARING THE INSCRIPTION, "COMBAT VETS" ABOVE, A TAB BEARING THE INSCRIPTION, "MC" TO THE PROPER LEFT-HAND SIDE, AND AN ARCHED TAB BEARING THE INSCRIPTION, "CONNECTICUT" BELOW A SKULL WEARING A HAT SUPERIMPOSED UPON CROSSED MILITARY ISSUE, M-16 RIFLES) PRINTED IN ORANGE INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT. AT THE UPPER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE BUSINESS CARD IS A REPRODUCTION OF THE NATIONAL POW*MIA LOGO (I.E. A SHIELD BEARING A CIRCULARLY SHAPED BLACK DISK AT THE CENTER CHARGED WITH THE PROFILE IMAGE OF AN AMERICAN SERVICEMAN FACING TO THE PROPER LEFT-HAND SIDE IN FRONT OF BARBED WIRE AND A GUARD TOWER AT THE BACKGROUND, BELOW THE ARCHED INSCRIPTION, "POW*MIA" , AND ABOVE A STRING OF BARBED WIRE AND THE ARCHED INSCRIPTION, "YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN") PRINTED IN ORANGE & BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT. AT THE LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE BUSINESS CARD IS A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED ORANGE FIELD WITHIN WHICH THE AUTHOR'S NICKNAME, "YO-YO" AND CONTACT PHONE NUMBER, "446-9324" ARE HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS. AT THE LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE POEM IS AN INSCRIPTION HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS DEDICATED TO LCPL MACHIE AND READING, "MIKE MACHIE / KIA 1968 / I RIDE IN YOUR MEMORY MY BROTHER / UNTIL WE MEET AGIN [sic] PEACE BE WITH YOU / YO-YO". THE SECOND (2ND) POEM IS ENTITLED, "ALL IN A ROW", IS ALSO BY U.S. ARMY & VIETNAM VETERAN AND AUTHOR, "KEN AINSWORTH", AND CONSISTS OF FOUR (4) STANZAS AND SIXTEEN (16) TOTAL LINES, ARRANGED THUSLY: 4-4-4-4. IN CONTENT, THE POEM SPEAKS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A VIETNAM VETERAN ASSIGNED TO STACK ROW UPON ROW OF BODY BAGS CONTAINING THE REMAINS OF DECEASED AMERICAN SERVICEMEMBERS, DESCRIBES THE PROCESS AS UNCEASING, AND DRAWS A PARALLEL BETWEEN THE AUTHOR'S BROKEN HEART AND THE BROKEN BODIES OF THE YOUNG MEN INSIDE THE BAGS. THE POEM CLOSES WITH THE LINES, "I STILL FEEL THE PAIN OF THE BOYS DYING / AND THEIR PEACE I WILL SOON KNOW / BECAUSE OF AGENT ORANGE I'M COMING / NOW ADD MY BODY TO THE ROW". THE POEM BEARS PRINTED MILITARY SERVICE INFORMATION FOR THE AUTHOR, KEN AINSWORTH, A REPRODUCED U.S. ARMY 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA, AND AN AFFIXED BUSINESS CARD IDENTICAL TO THOSE UPON THE FIRST (1ST) POEM. HOWEVER, THE HANDWRITTEN PHONE NUMBER UPON THE BUSINESS CARD AFFIXED TO THE SECOND (2ND) POEM IS MORE COMPLETE AND READS, "1-860-446-9324".
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the printed and handwritten inscriptions upon each poem is transcribed in full, as follows: ["Feelings" poem, obverse object surface, printed inscriptions] "FEELINGS / The Vietnam War is inside me / I fight but I can't get away / The pain of my friends who died beside me / Are still with me every day / I try to hide my hate and my sorrow / But the pain seems to never go away / The memories and faces are with me / Their scars are with me to stay / I went to Nam in the sixties / To do what we thought was best / But as combat infantry soldiers / We were given an impossible quest / All of my friends were my brothers / We walked through the jungle as one / We watched and looked out for each other / In a war that could never be won / Going to Nam gave life more meaning / But the meaning is still not right / Because when I sleep / My feelings are so deep / That in my dreams I still fight / Ken Ainsworth / "YO-YO" / Sterling, CT / 1st CAV. 2/8 / VIETNAM" / ["Feelings" poem, obverse object surface, affixed business card, printed inscriptions] "COMBAT VETS / MC / CONNECTICUT / POWMIA / YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN" / ["Feelings" poem, obverse object surface, affixed business card, handwritten inscription] "yo-yo / 446-9324" / ["Feelings" poem, obverse object surface, lower, proper left-hand corner, handwritten inscriptions] "Mike Machie / KIA 1968 / I ride in your memory my brother / until we meet agin [sic] peace be with you / yo-yo" / ["All In A Row" poem, obverse object surface, printed inscriptions] "ALL IN A ROW / I'm stacking the bags of young men / Some friends and some I'll never know / These are the men protecting our country / All dead and stacked in a row / The line goes on never ending / They bring in load after load / The bodies they keep sending / There is room for more in the row / My heart like the bodies broken and sad / All the young men in bag after bag / Packaged in green and ready to go / 58,000 young men, all dead in a row / I still feel the pain of the boys dying / And their peace I will soon know / Because of Agent Orange I'm coming / Now add my body to the row / Ken Ainsworth / "YO-YO" / Sterling, CT / 1st CAV. 2/8 / VIETNAM" / ["All In A Row" poem, obverse object surface, affixed business card, printed inscriptions] "COMBAT VETS / MC / CONNECTICUT / POWMIA / YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN" / ["All In A Row" poem, obverse object surface, affixed business card, handwritten inscription] "yo-yo / 1-860-446-9324"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 250.0g (Collective weight of both poems)
    • Item Length: 28.0cm
    • Item Width: 21.6cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: N/A
  • Item Notes:Dimensions listed above are for a single printed poem, with the exception of "Weight" which is a collective measurement of both poems. Measurements for each individual poem are identical.
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Items left at The Wall - The Virtual Collection

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982. Shortly thereafter, visitors to the Memorial began leaving items in memoriam to those killed and missing service members listed on The Wall. These artifacts now collectively comprise the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection -- a museum collection of more than 400,000 items held in the public trust by the National Park Service. Today, this Collection is among the largest and most actively researched collections in the National Capital Region.

The Collection is jointly curated by National Mall and Memorial Parks and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). The VVMF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies upon public donations to continue its work, and receives no federal funding.