Veterans Memorial Plaza
The obvious effort on display here was more than I expected and reflects the support of the community for the veterans of this area.
Each of the major conflicts of American history are related in a way that shows the visitor the when and where, and also the numbers of those served, fallen, and wounded in relation to the total population of the time. Dong the math can be a stark reminded of how the defense of the country and its friends and allied nations has frequently fallen upon the shoulders of the few that answered the call to service.
All around the plaza, and at the approaches, are little bits that make this a unique experience. Engraved paving bricks are a popular feature of memorials now, but how many have a section showing all of the amatuer radio opertors of the area? Milton has it, and a good number of the stations shown are veterans that likely learned their skills while in service.
War Dogs Honored
Another feature is a monument to military war dogs. Most Americans are clueless when it comes to the value and working conditions of military K-9's. They relate to a Hollywood view, sort of a Rin-Tin-Tin goes to war version of the job of these dogs. A cute notion, but far from the reality.
Military working dogs have a far shortened life expectancy, and are exposed to many dangers we would never consider. The relationship with their handlers is an odd mixture of loyalty and training. The dogs don't know they are just another tool in the arsenal. The handlers have to accept up front the premise that the dog isn't a pet. It is an expendable weapon that must be given up on a moments notice, regardless of the affectionate bond between handler and dog.