Veterans, Remembrance Day 2013

This is the 20th anniversary of the dedication Vietnam Women’s Memorial. I was there that year and like so many events at the Wall, Arlington Cemetery and other places of meaning to those of us who fought our Nations’ Wars it was a bittersweet time. I go back to the Jan Scruggs and Company days when the dream of a Vietnam Veterans Memorial seemed an impossible dream. But we did it and seeing the other memorials that became realities since is heartwarming, The Korean And World War II Memorials.The United Kingdom and The Commonwealth, France, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, United States recognize Veterans or Remembrance Day. Memorial Day in America we remember those who died as a result of our nation’s wars. They are the ones that never grow old. I can still see the faces of comrades long dead, but forever young…

in my minds eye. Veterans Day is a Day to remember our Veterans for the sacrifice they made, not for a country or an idea or a belief, but for the man in the foxhole net to them.Officers like Hal Moore, David Hackworth and Charlie Beckwith were brave men who loved their men.Not only the ones in their countries  uniforms, but the brave men and women whoo reposted the war honestly, not just regurgitating government propaganda. The likes of joe galloway, tim page, sean flynn, dana stone, dave Halberstam, neil sheehan, katie webb, host fass, and nick ut. None of us started a war, but we went, the willing and the unwilling and moment to moment, day to day all we had was each other. Remember this weekend to set aside your judgement of war or ideologies. Exercise a bit of compassion for those who suffer the scars of war, the physical and the mental. Remember the families all of us have, friends and lovers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters that are part of the suffering.

Pictured above is the inscription in my copy of one of the greatest anti war books ever written  We Were Soldiers Once… And Young by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore and reporter Joseph L. Galloway. . That time with Joe and Hal when the book came out was an amazing time. 21 years ago with the guys from the 1/7th of the 1st Cav, the book coming out, Veterans Day at The Wall, a few busy years in Washington D.C.. The old Delta to the DMZ Dance the year we dedicated Vietnam Women’s Memorial, I will never forget Joan Furey, Lynda van Devanter and the other brave women I served with still young still providing inspiration to us all in 1993. Sons and Daughters In Touch, the young people who lost fathers and other family member in Vietnam and their first Fahers Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Now nearly 66, most of my friends are dead. I treasure my friends of today and will never forget those that only live in my mind. And till the day I die will feel comapssion for all those sent to war and to their families. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters will be burying their loved ones and Nations will never let peace overcome the greed, hatred and delusion that bring us conflict.

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