Although it's called Lejune Memorial Gardens, this site is outside the actual base, meaning you don't have to have a base pass or be with authorized personnel to visit.
The largest of the memorials is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. You walk along a nicely landscaped path, and then you come to a big circle.
The center of the circle is a fountain. The outside of the circle is made up of glass panels.
There are over 58,000 names etched on the glass panels. It's very moving to see them all.
The Montford Point Marine Memorial is dedicated to the initial African American Marines of the early 1940s.
Originally, these first African American Marines were trained at a separate facility, called Montford Point.
These men showed themselves to be brave and honorable, and after only 7 years, the Marine Corps became fully integrated. In talking with Sam, he said, "Other branches sometimes have issues with racism, but we don't really have that." Obviously, there will always be individual people who are racist, but it's nice to know that there seems to be equality within the organization.
Weaponry from WWII, which all Marines would have trained to use.
There are trails from site to site, and I got about a mile walk in here. Aside from the humidity and heat, it really was lovely.
Although, the giant cobwebs in the trees made me wonder if I'd accidentally stumbled into Shelob's lair.
The final memorial is the 9/11 Memorial. This section of beam from the Twin Towers was given to the first troops deployed in the war on terror.
If you can't read the plaque, it mentions "Leather helmets" and "Leathernecks." As we have both in our family, it was particularly poignant for me.
This plaque represents a club no one wants to belong to. When a Blue Star Mom loses her child in service, her star turns gold.