This fantastic Memorial is another example of things we have found during our travels that
not looking to find. This trip has some interesting moments. We were headed up
Interstate 85 to the Nation's Capital to visit the US Bureau of Census. Our mission was a
Tuesday morning appointment at the Bureau followed by a Thursday morning appointment at
Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. I did mention we were driving right!
We took a break at mile marker 100 on Interstate 85 and just happened to glance at a sign pointing to the North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The memorial was great. Glad we saw it. It honors so many. We hope you get a chance to visit it.
After we visited the Memorial for a time, we continued our journey north, arriving at the Bureau of Census in time for our meeting early Tuesday morning. The temperature was 5 degrees and windy. The meeting went well, so we headed back down Interstate 85 that afternoon. We reached southern Virginia just after dark. By then it was snowing so hard we had to find lodging. I was afraid to go any further. I have seen too many movies whose title starts "Snowbound..."
We were lucky enough to get out of the parking lot the next morning to continue to our next meeting at the Redstone Arsenal. Fortunately, roads were in good condition considering the amount of snow that was on the ground. For the record, this all took place at the same time the great snow storm strangled Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia in January 2014. It is all about timing.
Now let's get back to the real topic, the North Carolina Vietnam Memorial.
The North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located near a rest stop at mile marker 100 on Interstate Highway 85 approximately 30 miles south of Greensboro, NC and 5 miles north of the Lexington, NC exit. The Memorial is built on a site donated by the State of North Carolina Department of Transportation, and was built with private donations.
Access to the memorial is through the rest stop. The memorial may be reached from both sides of the Interstate by way of an underpass running under the Interstate. Handicapped access is provided with a ramp running down to the rear of the memorial itself. Non-handicapped access is by way of a circular stairway, running down to the main entrance to the memorial.
A wreath laying ceremony kicks off the Memorial Day Celebration each year honoring the 216,000 North Carolinians who fought in the undeclared war.
A red brick path leads visitors from the main entrance to the park's commemorative plaque then onto the memorial.
A commemorative plaque at the entrance to the Memorial sets the tone by declaring the park's purpose and the date of its dedication.
The Memorial is a brick wall, with all bricks manufactured in North Carolina, and a center panel containing the names of the 1,647 North Carolinians killed or missing in Vietnam; their country of origin is written at the base of the memorial.
Open 24 hours
North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Interstate 85, Exit 100
Lexington, North Carolina (nearby)