Archive for Thursday, April 21, 2005

Honoring vets

April 21, 2005

To the editor

More than 3,403,000 American military personnel served in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia during the war. The service of our armed forces reflected the true dedication they held to America, to freedom and to human rights. Vietnam veterans will tell you they fought for one reason: freedom.

Vietnam veterans often bore the brunt of a nation angry and divided by the war. The "baby boomer" generation of which most were a part of blamed us for starting the war, while the "greatest generation," which we so revered, blamed us for losing it. Despite being treated with disrespect and derision upon returning home, and slighted by a nation that appreciated victory more than honorable service, Vietnam veterans proudly knew they fought the good fight, and their cause a just one.

Vietnam veterans can be proud of their legacy, especially the vow they made to ensure that future generations of veterans would always receive the assistance and appreciation they earned.

Notwithstanding the stereotype sometimes depicted by Hollywood and the media, the majority of those who served in Vietnam retuned home and put the war behind them. Some became teachers or remained in the military for their career, helping to train and lead those members now serving so bravely in Iraq. All in all they made a decision to make a difference, to do what they could to make the world better.

The contributions Vietnam veterans have made to America and to society are endless. They deserve nothing but respect and admiration for their dedication to service and country.

On Thursday evening, April 21, starting at 7 p.m., Kenneth Bernard, mayor of Lansing, will sign and present a proclamation to the Lansing VFW proclaiming May 1 to be Loyalty Day, just as it has been for the past 50 years. This year, however, there is an addition to this proclamation that being the declaration of making May 1 through May 7 "Vietnam Veterans Recognition Week."

I believe there could be nothing more fitting than to have the City Council chambers packed that night with veterans of all wars as those of us from the Vietnam era are so honored.

Michael J. Howell



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