From Our Commander and Chief – Memorial Day 2012

President Barack Obama’s testimonial to the contributions and sacrifices of Vietnam War veterans was long overdue, and Americans should heed the commander in chief’s words in trying to right a terrible wrong.
Sentinel & Enterprise
Posted: 06/03/2012 06:32:49 AM EDT

At a Memorial Day ceremony held at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., Obama urged Americans to mark the 50th anniversary of that ill-fated war by praising the soldiers who served and assisting them with issues they might be facing.

Five decades ago, tens of thousands of soldiers returned from Vietnam to an unwelcome homecoming, physically and psychologically battered from a long, torturous war that resulted in 58,000 American deaths and the perception of a military “defeat.” Soldiers were unjustly blamed for the war’s misguided management by White House politicians who meddled in military strategy and prolonged America’s involvement in a misunderstood foreign battle. Many brave men and women died needlessly; others continue to bear the wounds of combat and the mental scars of fighting a war that grew so unpopular it forced a sitting president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, to decide not to seek re-election.

Unfortunately, the soldiers got stuck with the black stain on America’s image rather than the politicians who deserved it. President Obama said it is time to wipe the slate clean.

“You were sometimes blamed for the misdeeds of a few,” Obama told Vietnam veterans. “You came home and were sometimes denigrated when you should have been celebrated. It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened.

“Even though some Americans turned their backs on you, you never turned your backs on America,” said the president.

A majority of Vietnam veterans readjusted to civilian life, went to school, got good jobs, became successful business owners, productive workers and solid citizens and raised families. They put the worst behind them with dignity, despite the cloud that was hung over their heads for years. Obama wants America to show its gratitude to these sons and daughters of liberty once and for all. We agree wholeheartedly.

The president has designated May 28 to Nov. 11 for commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. We urge each community to do its part with programs, ceremonies and activities that honor the veterans who did what they were asked to do, without complaint, in that long-ago and much-maligned conflict.

 

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration

Click here or the logo to go to The Vietnam War Commemoration site

Vietnam War 50th Anniversary

Vietnam War 50th Anniversary

Click here or the logo above to visit The 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration Site.

30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WALL – READING OF THE NAMES

30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WALL READING OF THE NAMES

 

Reading of The Names

Reading of The Names

 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is hosting the Reading of the Names of 58,272 service members inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. as part of the special activities planned this November to commemorate The Wall’s 30th Anniversary.

The Reading of the Names will take place at The Wall for 65 hours over a four-day period beginning with an opening ceremony on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.  Volunteers will read names for approximately eight hours from 4 p.m. on November 7 to 12 a.m. on November 8.  Participants will then read the names for 19 hours daily from 5 a.m. until 12 a.m. on November 8, 9, and 10.

The Reading of the Names took place in Washington, D.C. just four other times in The Wall’s history.  In November 1982, the names were read aloud at Washington National Cathedral as part of a week-long National Salute to Vietnam Veterans.  The names were read at The Wall during the 10th Anniversary celebration in November 1992, during the 20th Anniversary celebration in 2002 and during the 25th Anniversary celebration in 2007.

If you are interested in participating in the Reading of the Names, please click the image above or below and follow the instructions.

Reading of The Names

Reading of The Names