COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - On Friday, we honor those who fought for our freedom on National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The day is being recognized in the Palmetto State with dozens of motorcycles gathering at the SC Military Museum for a ride to the State House.
60 designated bikes will carry state and military colors as we honor our Vietnam War veterans. The motorcycles will begin lining up at around 8 a.m. Friday, before a police escort guides them on their ride to the State House. While there, the 60 bikes with state and military flags with be displayed along the State House steps where Governor Henry McMaster will thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Vietnam veteran, Michael Douglas, will be taking part in Friday’s ride for the first time this year. Drafted to the Army back in 1968, Douglas tells WIS-TV that at just 20-years-old he was hit by a landmine and severely burned while in Vietnam less than a year after being drafted. He says he’s thankful for Vietnam War Veterans Day, but adds that he thinks about his fellow soldiers often.
“When I look my scars, that is a reminder to me that God could’ve taken my leg that day or I could’ve lost my life in Vietnam. When I look at these scars, I’m grateful that I did not lose my leg. This reminds me of what happened on March 24, 1969 and I don’t have a problem with my scars. I appreciate that I’m alive.”
Douglas says he’s eager to take part in the Ride to the State House and to be, “with my brothers, that’s what I’m looking forward to – to see other Vietnam vets that come together.”
The Vietnam War veteran also says he feels conflicted because, “I can’t say we’re celebrating this day, because it’s like I said my brothers are not home yet. All my brothers are not home yet and I have a sitting over there at my table. That’s the way I celebrate Vietnam Vets Recognition Day. That chair I have leaning over is for the man that never came home. The candle is for the light for him.”
President Donald Trump proclaimed March 29 National Vietnam War Veterans Day in 2017 to ensure everyone who served – including the Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action – are honored for their sacrifices.
There will also be a Veterans Resource Fair, Friday, where vets can connect with local agencies for any assistance they may need. Vets can stop by anytime between 10 AM and 2 PM. So, that will be underway before and after the ceremony at the State House.