Litchfield VFW Hosts Vietnam War Veterans Ceremony
Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:41:57 CDT
A small crowd of veterans and guests gathered on Ryder Street in Litchfield Friday for a ceremony recognizing Vietnam War Veterans.
"This is a day that is long overdue," said Ray Kellenberger, commander of VFW Post 3912. His opening remarks were followed by Mayor Steve Dougherty, who began with an apology.
"I would like to offer a message to Vietnam Veterans on behalf of my generation: We are so sorry," Dougherty said. "The majority did not participate in protests (during the Vietnam War), but we should have done more."
Dougherty also warned that some of the ideas veterans fought to keep out of the U.S. during the war are on the verge of making their way into the U.S. today. State VFW Commander Dave Stout followed the mayor as the guest speaker. He said everything the mayor said was true.
"The U.S. Military never lost a battle in Vietnam," Stout said. "Our friends in Washington let us down. More than 2 million troops served our country, and I'm proud of each and every one of them. I'm proud to be with you."
Stout, like many Vietnam War veterans, served two tours during the war. He said the second was much tougher.
"I have good memories and terrible memories of that place," he said. "Most of us have developed a knack for locking the bad stuff away."
The ceremony concluded with Kellenberger reminding those in attendance to never forget.
"To be killed in battle is not the worst. To be lost is not the worst. To be forgotten is the worst thing that can happen to a veteran."
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