WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Vietnam War was a costly and controversial war. Many American soldiers lost their lives in that war and on Veterans’ Day, our Vietnam vets were honored for their service.
At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., people took their time walking by the Memorial Wall. Reading the names of more than 58-thousand service members who died in the war. People put down flowers, wreaths and cards. Some looked for family names, while others looked for familiar names of people they served with that are etched in the wall.
“Today we pause to honor those past and present who have served in our nation’s military to contemplate you and your family’s many sacrifices and to reflect on what you’ve done for our country,” said Jeff Reinhold, the Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
For Veterans’ Day, many Vietnam vets listened to former vets, speakers from the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Fund and the National Parks Service. They shared the importance of having this Memorial Wall and shared their own memories of the war.
“Everyone of us had a different experience in Vietnam,” said retired Vietnam Veteran Gen. Barry McCaffrey.
The Vietnam War was a complicated and controversial war. The U.S. fought alongside South Vietnam against the communist North Vietnamese. Many American men were drafted. Many of the servicemen were killed or badly injured.
For some of these vets, although this war was decades ago, It still impacts them to this day.
“We went forward to do whatever job we were assigned to do and in whatever location we were sent,” recalled Lt. Grace Moore, Vietnam Veteran.
And to them, this ceremony honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and honoring the Vietnam vets that are still here today.