The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

May/June 2004
Photo:Michael Keating
Honoring Our Fallen

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 ultimate sacrifice.

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 veteransmore than anyoneunderstand 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.



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