Sargent’s Pass Colorado Vietnam War Memorial, The Mountains of the Rio Grande National Forest conceal mystery. The sort of mystery that fills a field as it fills a void.
Hidden away in the 1.8-million-acre forest is a treasure few people are aware of. It was created nearly 20 years ago by a man who devoted the remaining years of his life to honoring soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War.
They chose the Rio Grande National Forest because of its proximity to the Continental Divide – and because it was a large forest that could easily hide his memorial. “The idea was it would be secluded. didn’t want people to vandalize it,”
The main memorial is surrounded by several stones with quotes engraved in them. Each stone is written in a different language. One, which is written in Vietnamese reads, “Although we have at times been strong, at times weak, we have at no time lacked heroes”.
.In a pamphlet provided by the Forest Service, one paragraph explained, “[SOLDIERSTONE] is a realization of one man’s dream to honor fallen soldiers in a quiet, natural setting.”
According to the Forest Service, a letter written by Beckley stated “my name is not to appear anywhere on the monument’s grounds… it’s ‘for them’, not ‘for us.’ Everyone who works on SOLDIERSTONE should do so out of respect and humility … our job is to get it done and leave it to nature.”