June 1, 2016
Legion honors fallen troops during Memorial Day ceremony
As their reflections gleamed off of the black granite wall where their fallen loved ones’ names are forever etched, hundreds of attendees converged at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to pay respects to the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice during a Memorial Day ceremony.
The American Legion’s National Vice Commander Alan Davis and Executive Director Verna Jones were also in attendance to pay their respects.
Davis said he was honored to have the opportunity to spend the day representing The American Legion at this event. The Vietnam War veteran was overcome with feelings of nostalgia as guest speaker Capt. Dale Dye (Ret.) shared stories of his time in and out of the Marine Corps. The Navy vet said he was inspired after hearing Dye’s words about veterans making the ultimate sacrifice.
“For those of us who understand the importance of this great memorial to our nation and a generation of veterans who had to fight two wars – one in the jungles, mountains, and rice patties of Vietnam, and another war here at home for recognition and respect – this is hallowed ground.”
Family members of fallen Vietnam veterans whose names were added to the wall this year observed the ceremony. As their names were read, Davis said he traveled back in time. “There are names on that wall of classmates of mine that I come back to visit every once in a while.”
In the past year, eight names were added to the wall and nine names had their statuses changed from missing in action to killed in action.
After the National Vice Commander laid a wreath at the memorial in remembrance of the more than 58,000 names on the wall, taps played in the distance. “It was heart wrenching,” Davis said. “I have been to the memorial before, but never for something as moving as this. It is something that I will probably never get to experience again.”
With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion,www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.
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