SHRAPNEL IN THE HEART: Letters and Remembrances from the Vietnam Memorial by Laura Palmer

SHRAPNEL IN THE HEART: Letters and Remembrances from the Vietnam Memorial

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

To be published on Veteran's Day, a poignant collection of memories from the families and friends of Vietnam dead. Palmer--who was a war correspondent, at the age of 22, in Saigon--has tracked down people who have left notes, poems, and ""remembrances""--anything from raggedy teddy bears to dog tags--as tokens of mourning at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Her interviews with them bring back anew the pain of the war. Casting director Linda Phillips Palo lost three high-school friends in 1968; it was only in front of the Memorial in 1985 that ""the door of rage and anger. . .finally closed."" A fifth-grade teacher named Grant Zimmerman mourns his dead brother, Edward: ""I usually come here to touch your name a couple of times a year. Last year when I brought my class to D.C. . . .I could not stop crying."" The letters that are part of the volume speak even more clearly: ""After a lot of you bought the farm in summer, we continued to work the ridge lines and valleys from the Ashau to the DMZ, then went to the Laotian border. . .sometimes I sit in the dark and smoke--I see you in the smoke not like ghosts, but sitting calm--waiting to move out."" A fine journalistic testament not only to those lost in Vietnam, but to architect Maya Ying Lin, who designed the ""healing"" Wall.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1987
Publisher: Random House