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The Kindness Of Remembrance

30/03/2012
Vietam Memorial. Washington DC (Columbia). Uni...

Vietnam Memorial. Washington DC (Columbia). United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CBS Evening News ran a story tonight about the anniversary of groundbreaking for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC.

Scruggs, a Vietnam veteran, started the memorial project with $2,800 of his own money. He went on to raise $8 million.

“When anybody died in Vietnam you just had a feeling nobody would ever remember,” Scruggs said. “That’s why I had to have their names up there.”

That sentiment – that no one would remember – is something no veteran should ever experience.  It is an understatement to say that Vietnam was an unpopular war.  I was just beginning my teenage years at the height of the “conflict”.  The nation was divided about many things, not the least of which was our involvement in Vietnam.  Students staged “sit-ins” on college campuses.  Protests became violent.  It was not a shining moment in our history, for a lot of reasons.

I do remember though, many years later, going to DC and making a point to visit “the Wall”.  There is an unexplained sacredness there.  There is an eery silence, one of honoring those so many years later who literally gave their lives.  It is fitting that we should honor the men and women who fought, as those who did what they believed was right, and even some who fought, against their personal convictions.  The kindest thing we can do is treat them with respect, with honor, with thanks for their sacrifice.  Whether we personally agree with acts of war or not, veterans and anyone in service to their country deserves that kindness.  I hope you will take the time to watch the video and read the story HERE.   And if you have the chance to visit the Wall – don’t pass it up.  You won’t be disappointed.

*For a great tribute to veterans, check out the blog 365 Vets.  It is honoring a vet a day by telling their stories.*

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