"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Friday, June 13, 2014

"More Than Names On a Wall": by James McComb

All Proceeds Go Into a Veterans Fund

CreateSpace Independent Publishing
276 pages

The Story Behind The Book:

Each December on what is usually a cold Saturday night in Doylestown PA at the south end of the courthouse, people gather from as far away as Easton, PA -- not to occupy or protest, but to honor.

Family, friends, and residents gather as they have for the past 21+ years to honor, remember, and reflect on those whose names are on the Bucks County Vietnam War Veterans Memorial  – “The Wall”.

The idea to erect a tree and decorate it with ornaments bearing the names of the fallen was the idea of Neil and Sherry Wolfe. Neil was a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran who wanted to honor those who could never again celebrate Christmas with their families.

The ceremony includes decorating the tree with the ornaments that are handed to each attendee as the names are recited. This continues until all the names have been placed on the tree. The Vietnam Veterans who have passed since the construction of the wall are honored, as well.  The ceremony ends with a prayer and the singing of “Silent Night”.

After the 2010 ceremony, one of the attendees, Jim McComb, went home with an empty feeling. He felt there should be something much more.

The names were being recited, but there was no face, no story, attached to the names. So, Jim told a few of his Vietnam Veteran friends that he would like to research those on the wall who gave their lives by creating something that would give them a face, rather than just a name.

After several weeks of research, Jim and a few of his friends decided that this effort should be put into a book that everyone could access.

For the next year, Jim painstakingly spent several hours each week researching the names of the 136 Bucks County residents who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam, or who were missing in action. Some research provided a lot of information, some did not.

Many online sites were searched and, in some cases, families contacted -- something Jim ceased to do, after he found that it was painful for some to speak of their loss.  It is noteworthy to mention that during his research, Jim discovered there was a Medal of Honor recipient on the wall.

Finally, Jim’s goal of publishing the book so it would be available for the 2011 ceremony was realized with “More Than Names on a Wall”.

In his introduction to the book, he writes, "It is said that a man has not died as long as he is remembered." With this book, Jim has ensured that these men will never be forgotten.

There are also contributions by other Vietnam Veterans in the Foreword, who share their thoughts about the Memorial publication. 

ALL proceeds from the book are deposited into a fund that is used exclusively to assist Veterans.

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“As a Bucks County resident and Veteran of the Vietnam war, I visit the Memorial frequently. I can say that it was to me a wall of names without a face. This book has put a face to all of those names on that wall and has brought to light that our community is honored to have a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient as one of the heroes on that wall. 
Thanks to Jim McComb for his efforts in compiling this work and for putting a face on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country in Vietnam.” by Bobstar48 

“There's a lot of sadness in the strong research Jim McComb provides in this book about Bucks County KIAs in Vietnam. I am relying on this book, Jim, to honor Pennsbury High alums who died in Vietnam.  
As we grow older, the memories grow stronger for veterans of all wars. Now more than ever, this is an important book for war historians to place on their shelves.”   by Terry Nau

James McComb

About James McComb

Jim McComb is a native of Philadelphia, but has been a Bucks County resident for over fifteen years.

He is a former US Marine and a past Commander of VFW Post 175.  He is a member of the Marine Corps League, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 210 and the American Legion Post 210.

Contact Jim

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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