One of the joys of riding is the serendipity of finding unusual and interesting places.
This is one of those places. I had passed a sign for the memorial, and decided it might be worth making a U turn to investigate. This is certainly worth it. While many memorials capture the sentiment of appreciation for those who served in the military, this one vividly depicts the history of U.S warfare.
Called "A Walk Through Time", the memorial has a walkway timeline. Each one foot block represent one year of our history, from 1775 to 1998, with pedestals for each war. Atop each pedestal is a stack of red bricks, each brick representing 1,000 lost American lives.
The legend block at the beginning of the walk explains the scale used.
Each pedestal has the beginning date at one end, and the ending date at the other.
The space between the pedestals represent periods of relative peace.
Some military actions, such as Grenada, are missing.
Since the pedestals span the period of each war, it is easy to see and compare the length of each war. Although the Revolution lasted almost 8 years, the death rate is not overwhelming.
The War Between The States, or the Civil War as we Yankees were taught, is a different story. Although the war was shorter, the death toll was staggering. Of course, casualties on both sides were Americans.
The World War II, Korea, and Vietnam pedestals how brief the periods of peace have been in the middle 20th century.
The Vietnam War was long, but advances in medical technology and the use of "Dust Off" helicopters reduced the death toll. Inscriptions on the pedestals list the names of Alachua County residents lost in the wars. Additional monuments on the sidewalk in the background list University of Florida losses.
Ending with the Gulf War, and its miraculously low losses, this view of the memorial presents a snapshot of our military history and an astonishing understanding of the prevalence of war during our short existence as a nation.
The Alachua County Veteran's Memorial is located in Kanapaha Park on SW 41st place just east of SW 75 St (Tower Road) in Gainesville, FL
(29-36-58N x 82-25-16W)
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October 6, 2002