While Memorial Day is the official holiday when we remember and honor military personnel who have died in the service of our country, Veterans Day is intended to recognize and thank all those, living and dead, who have honorably served in the military. For me these days are different, but very similar. On both days I have strong feelings of gratitude toward our country’s military personnel. Unfortunately, some of our veterans cannot be thanked in person.
Many veterans continue to deal with wounds that were sustained in battle or other service to our country. We hear stories of how some of the troops who served suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, high rates of divorce, suicide, alcoholism or drug addiction. Some are still in need of help, and are awaiting assistance with their recovery or in finding a place to live. Many continue to serve by being active volunteers working to improve communities across our country, and helping other veterans.
Regardless of our political views on some of the engagements our military have been involved in, we are so very grateful for the veteran’s service.
A touching event for me is watching the Arlington National Cemetery Veterans Day National Ceremony when a wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or the Tomb of the Unknowns. Watching the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery is spectacular also. Out of respect and gratitude I will watch them again this year. For both of these events it feels like the world stops to salute our fallen soldiers. The deliberation and precision of the whole process is amazing and awe-inspiring!
Like many my age, I lived through and remember the Viet Nam era. Some friends I knew went off to Viet Nam but didn’t return home alive. One of my relatives, Moses Haywood, Jr., was just 19 years old. His name is now one of the sixty-five (65) Fort Wayne, Indiana service men listed on The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall located in Washington, D.C. That wall contains more than 58,000 names of soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. Thank you to Moses, and his family, for his service. Thank you to all others who served our country. I salute you all.
Below is some of Moses’ information from virtualwall.org:
CORPORAL MOSES HAYWOOD, JR
B CO, 1ST BN, 1ST MARINES, 1ST MARDIV, III MAF
Rifleman, United States Marine Corps
Location: Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam
Born 1951, Died 1971
Service Tour 1970-1971
On The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at Panel W4, Line 19