Alanea White

Last month I was lucky enough to be able to head to Washington D.C. for a week long walking tour of  the sites. 

A few weeks prior to my trip I was lucky enough to have a unique story for Memorial Day arrive at my office. Dan and Linda Kaspszak were kind enough to share the story of Linda’s brother with me. 

Kenneth Westerberg was a Vietnam Veteran who died in service to our country. I wrote an article about Kenny’s service to his country and how the Barnum American Legion Post is named after him.  Dan and Linda shared Kenny’s story with me and you. 

While working on the story about Kenny I used the Virtual Vietnam War Memorial website, and Dan and Linda had included information from the site as well. 

While shuffling around the National Mall in D.C. I thought I would take a chance and see if I could find Kenny on the Vietnam War Memorial. I pulled up the article I had written on my phone, and found the panel and line number where his name was supposed to be. 

Walking down The Wall I saw a Park Ranger carefully cataloging and collecting items that had been left behind as mementos for those on the memorial. Wandering a bit further I walked into a tour group where a volunteer was explaining how the wall was constructed and how names were added to the panels. 

Directly behind this volunteer was the panel I needed! After waiting patently for the group she was talking to to disperse I stood off to the side, after noticing me she asked if I needed help finding someone, so I explained about the story and who I was looking for. She was kind enough to help me count the lines and right there, directly behind where she was standing moments before was Kenneth G. Westerberg. 

I snapped a quick photo and am looking forward to sharing it with Dan and Linda this week. 

The experience of being able to find someone on The Wall and to share that with his family definitely added something special to an already once in a life time trip. 

Alanea White is the editor of the Moose Lake Star-Gazette. She loves hearing from readers about upcoming community events. Her email is editor@mlstargazette.com

 

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