Sunday, March 21, 2010

Memorial for Sergeant Dennis Kenneth O'Connor

I got an email today that set me to remembering a special day so long ago.

Dear Mr O'Connor,

My name is Logan Leedham and I am a junior at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. All the AP English 3 classes are doing a project in remembrance of soldiers who died in the Vietnam war. I am making a memorial for Dennis Kenneth O'Connor. The project is to make a slideshow or movie in honor of their life and service. The school has been doing this project for about 4 years and there's been quite a database collected. You can see it at I read what you posted on and if you knew him or his family I was wondering if you would mind sharing with me any pictures or information about  Sergeant Dennis O'Connor. I would really appreciate it. Please know that I want to respect and honor this brave man, and I'm going to do the best I can for his tribute.

Sincerely, Logan Leedham

Here's what I wrote back to Logan:


You are doing a fine thing.  I didn't know Sergeant O'Connor, but I remember when he died.  I was a young college kid, about 20 or 21.  I got a call from my mom.  She was crying.  She'd heard a radio report about Dennis O'Connor dying in Viet Nam.  She couldn't help but feel, for a moment, what a mother feels a son had been killed.  

Mom and I had a good talk that day.

Later after the wall had been constructed,  I found his spot on the memorial.  I remember running my fingertips over my name... his name, and being  thankful for the life I had and so sad for the life lost to the war.

Now, every time I go to Washington DC I visit the wall and remember my namesake. 

I hope this little story helps you.  I hope your slide show is done with Powerpoint!  If so, I'd love to see a copy.  I'll post it on one of my blogs.  Regardless, I'll link to your project online!
Good luck with your work!


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