The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress
October/November 2004
FEATURE
 
 

Gold Stars, Purple Hearts, and Missing Soldiers
 

BY JIM DOYLE

The River Parade Field at The Pentagon was the site of National POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony on September 21.

Keynote Speaker Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) lost an arm in combat during World War II while serving with the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was comprised of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and commanded by white officers. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Medal of Honor.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers and other dignitaries, including VVA President Tom Corey, watched as troops passed in review along the green lawn at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The following Saturday, September 26, a group of people who would have preferred not to know each other gathered together as they have every year since 1929. American Gold Star Mothers met for the installation of new officers for the coming year. Ann Herd, whose son Ronnie died in Vietnam in 1970, was installed as the new president.

VVA Staff Director Joe Sternburg represented President Tom Corey. "Just as veterans relate to other veterans," Sternburg, who was accompanied by VVA staff members, said, "you can relate to the new mothers and share your pain, sorrow, and the joy of carrying on your life and your mission, and to remind everyone never to forget those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice."

A VVA proclamation urged "all members of Vietnam Veterans of America to observe the day by paying respects to those mothers whose sons and daughters have made the supreme sacrifice and to sincerely honor through word and deed the American Gold Star Mothers."

   

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