If you were to stand in the courtyard on the south side of the Courthouse in Doylestown PA and look around you would see memorials to several wars – World War II, Korea, and the Persian Gulf. But if you would look due south, you would see the largest and most striking of the memorials – the Vietnam War Memorial.
On this wall are inscribed the names of one hundred thirty-six Bucks County residents who lost their lives serving our country during the Vietnam War.
It is said that a man has not died as long as he is remembered. Each year a few weeks before Christmas, some Vietnam veterans and friends gather to decorate a Christmas tree in front of the Vietnam War Memorial. The decorations are red, white, and blue hearts each with the name of one of the one hundred thirty-six Bucks County men who died while serving in Vietnam.
In this most joyous time of the year we pause to honor their memory and to show that they are not forgotten. We move around the tree in a circular file with each person mounting an ornament of one of the men after his name has been announced. Thanks to the originators, Neil and Sherry Wolfe, this event has been taking place for over twenty years now. The ceremony concludes with all singing Silent Night.
I am a native of Philadelphia and did not have the pleasure of knowing any of these men. The ceremony would have more meaning for me and most likely everyone, if we knew even a little about them. That was the genesis of my book.