Veterans Day 2007 in Second Life

November 17th, 2007 | Category: Memescience, Memorials, RL Meets SL, Second Life Videos

Here is a pretty good video called Veterans Day 2007 in Second Life, it goes into a little detail about how the Wall in SL happened, who built it, and even delves into how some SL groups are trying to help veterans back into society and deal with some of the stuff they’ve had to go through.

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An Insurmountable Wall

An Insurmountable Wall by Aribella Lafleur

Occasionally, in my nonchalant passage throughout the metaverse, I feel a need for a reflective hiatus, to contemplate the significant matters of subsistence. In that vein, I felt compelled to visit “the Wall”, a thought-provoking and inspirational virtual replica of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall.

The entry portal, an unblemished, pearlescent-paned dome, greeted our arrival with its bright aspect. Our eyes were drawn to the serene autumn vista beyond, and to a screen playing excerpts from the real-life counterpart to this subdued site.

The rotunda

A hushed silence descended over our number, as if we had been relocated to a time and place beyond our understanding. The dying leaves, dropping gently from the trees encircling us, took my heart with them on their graceful flight. No joyous laughter filled the air, yet the powerful and majestic sentiment pervading this location was palpable.

My habitually rowdy crew were uncharacteristically stilled by a respectful awe as they gazed upon a shining memorial to the men who rose to the challenge set by their country. The Three Servicemen statue stood proudly, as if safeguarding the location marking their lost and fallen comrades.

Soldiers Memorial

As I looked up, I wondered at the courage of these men, many still in their teens, thrust into the totally alien landscape of Vietnam, witnessing unimaginable horrors without respite. I was struck by the impression that, though not my land and not my war, simply by being here I was engulfed in a history that was far larger than my small existence.

Three soldiers

Like an oyster covering a speck of grit, modern society strives to hide death, camouflaging it with the mundane. Shielded by the closed coffin, as if we have disguised the inevitable, we forget that life is a gift, and sometimes hard-won by the sacrifice of others. This “pearl”, now mirrored in two worlds, yields the beauty of remembrance grown around, and become a part of, the history that bore so much pain of loss and sacrifice. Gazing upon the extensive expanse of polished black granite, inscribed with the names of men and women whose service helped keep this dream of freedom alive, I could almost glimpse the faces peering out from the smooth, cold surface.

The names

We set off in search of the name of one of my team’s relatives who had fallen in combat. Using a directory terminal we easily located the correct wall panel (after a false start with the incorrect name), and all joined in the quest with surprising enthusiasm.
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