This Memorial Day, I hope,
will take on its true meaning as we honor America's fighting men
and women, our sons and daughters, who have returned from Iraq
and Afghanistan in flag-draped transfer cases. This Memorial Day
we encourage all Americans to attend a ceremony, or at least to
pause for a moment to remember those who served and made the
We, as veterans, will welcome home flag-draped transfer cases,
whenever possible, as we do when our POW/MIA remains return from
Vietnam. We will welcome the fallen with honor, as we did during
the Vietnam War. We cannot ignore them. There are few things
more powerful than seeing, honoring, escorting, and supporting
the fallen who are returned home to us. We attend funeral,
chapel, and graveside services whenever possible. We did not
disclose the names during repatriation ceremonies we attended in
Vietnam. There was no need to. We respect families' wishes for
privacy and, at the same time, still honor the military
personnel returning home who gave their all for this country.
We must make sure that the media photograph any ceremonies with
honor and respect. But we do not want the remains of our
returning sons and daughters to be ignored.
Many of our chapters and members are involved in supporting and
welcoming home our troops and helping their families. Vietnam
veteransmore than anyoneunderstand the importance of this
mission, and we must make sure it continues. We continue our
involvement with the wounded at Walter Reed Army Hospital, which
is near VVA's national office. Working alongside our local
chapters, we will continue there and other places to reach out
and let returning veterans know that we support them. We have
heard their stories and have shared their pain.
This Memorial Day weekend, we also will recognize World War II
veterans at the dedication of the World War II Memorial on May
29 in Washington. VVA will be there for the ceremonies, and
we'll support the veterans who served. We thank WWII veterans
for their service.
Remember those serving and their families. We continue to pray
for an end to the war and to terrorism. God bless.