Tonawanda News

Letters to the Editor

December 7, 2006

LETTER: Honoring veterans should strengthen, continue

I served my nation 50 years ago and am a proud Army veteran.

Each Veterans Day I celebrate our democracy that honors those who sacrificed their lives and, far too many, their health in defense of this nation. We owe these folk everything.

After my service I joined a veterans group, but thought our membership was being manipulated for ideological and political reasons and left.

Then about 10 years ago on Veterans Day, I was bicycling the Riverwalk in Buffalo, and saw three silver-haired men walking with a wreath, up an incline on the other side of River Road. I turned back to join them at a small veterans monument near Riverside Park. They acknowledged me but prayed and placed a wreath at the memorial.

They were from a nearby American Legion post that is now closed. We spoke briefly. They were World War II vets and sadly acknowledged their dwindling numbers. Since that time, when I attend a Veterans Day event, I do so to honor my silver-haired predecessors as much as our serving band of brothers.

This year I attended an event at the T-NT Gateway Park. They had a nice and proper ceremony, a good speaker with local connections and launched a wreath to commemorate those lost in our nation’s wars.

But I noted that the dignified veterans on the bridge all were older folk. I could see by their hats and insignia that they were mostly American Legion and VFW representatives and no Vietnam War representatives.

Later, I stopped at the Vietnam Veterans Office on Main Street. They assured me they would have participated in the veterans ceremony but were not invited. They said they had made contact but were informed that the sponsor of the event, the Marine Corps League, did not think their attendance was appropriate.

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Letters to the Editor