Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day I wanted to share the article below.

Former Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC, wrote of Memorial Day "As a crowd of high-school students offloaded from the tour bus for a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial aka 'The Wall,' he yelled, 'There are no good wars!' ... He held a sheet of cardboard, hand-inscribed with the words 'I'm the 99 percent' on one side and 'Help me, I'm Homeless' on the other. ... "'The Wall' is like that. The V-shaped black granite panels with 58,282 names inscribed upon them attract visitors like no other place in our nation's capital. ... "[T]his year, our countrymen who pause from travel, shopping, sporting events and auto races on the last Monday in May will see a very different observance: the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. "For the 2.7 million Americans who fought for our nation in Southeast Asia, the Gold Star families who lost loved ones there and those who still yearn to know what happened to the 1,350 who still are unaccounted for, Monday's ceremony is a long-awaited requital for unacknowledged sacrifice. It's an overdue but welcome event. "What is less certain is whether this commemoration finally can bring closure to the most polarizing armed conflict for Americans since the Civil War. Will it end the false mythology of the Vietnam vet as a pothead marauder, a homeless, unemployed dropout who couldn't fit in after coming home? "The Occupy protester I confronted on my way to 'The Wall' this week probably won't be convinced by this single ceremony. It's unlikely he ever will grasp the innate decency, unstinting perseverance, quiet courage and true humility of those whose names are engraved on those black granite panels. There are no good wars. But there are good warriors. ... "Like most Vietnam War veterans, they still are giving more than they ever asked in return. They aren't dropouts. They are American heroes -- and I'm blessed to call them friends."

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