About 50 Vietnam War era Veterans and their families gathered with the Ladies of the Nathaniel Green Chapter NSDAR, Saturday Morning, May 23,2015, at the Vietnam War Memorial in Cleveland Park. The weather was perfect for an outside ceremony on a Memorial Day weekend. Seating was reserved for the veterans, some of whom were showing the marks of war that have been with them as reminders for 50 years.
The purpose of the event was to conduct a solemn ceremony honoring Vietnam War era veterans. Music by the Heartstrings Blue Grass Band and a catered BBQ meal was provided to all attendees at the conclusion of the ceremony. An Honor Roll of Vietnam Veterans was called and each Vet. presented a certificate recognizing valor, service and sacrifice during the war. The presentations were made by Kathy Gerwig, Regent, Nathaniel Green Chapter NSDAR.
Lynn Shore, Commemorative Events Chairman, South Carolina DAR, read a proclamation from the Department of Defense pertaining to the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.
This was a historically significant event. The DAR ceremony was in fact one of the few, if not the only event in Greenville during the past 50 years honoring the service of Vietnam War veterans that was not planned, organized and conducted by Vietnam War Veterans to honor their own comrades. This was a moving experience for the aging former warriors, who have silently endured abuse and discrimination by some of their fellow Americans to this day,
Several veterans, after receiving recognition from the DAR paused to comment on the treatment they received upon their return from Vietnam. Tragically, very few Americans under age 60 know anything factual about the Vietnam War, and soon the veterans of that war will be dead and gone and their stories will be lost forever.
Most of their stories have not been told because memories of the war were painful for the veterans. This was coupled with the fact that many American civilians and politicians wanted to forget their mistakes and a reminder that the enemy deceived them.
Patrick Ramsey, President, Vietnam Veterans of America #523, thanked the DAR Ladies for honoring the Vietnam Veterans. They had been sent to war by people elected by the American people who lacked the will to win, failed to tell the truth or generate the courage to end the war and stop the killing. Instead, they took the political coward’s way out. The Congress cut the funds to both the United States and the South Vietnamese Military after the war had been militarily won, and allowed the Communists to declare victory. It was a blatant betrayal of both the American troops and our Vietnamese Allies our government had promised to defend.
None of the politicians, actors or media people were required to pay a penalty for the lives of young Americans they betrayed in Vietnam. To the contrary, they were rewarded with leadership positions in government, media, academia and business. The son of an openly pro-Communist activist in Hawaii and the Grandson of lifelong leftist leaders, and mentored by Vietnam era terrorists, was elected to two terms as President of the United States. His Secretary of State was a military turncoat during the Vietnam War who falsely accused his fellow service members of atrocities. These two are currently directing the betrayal of the Americans who fought, sacrificed and died in Iraq and the people whose freedom they were fighting to defend.
Once again, thanks to the thoughtful patriotic ladies of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution for a timely and greatly appreciated ceremony to honor Vietnam War era Veterans.