Ceremony honors veterans who may not have received recognition
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A ceremony this weekend honors veterans of a war who may not have received the gratitude of their country for their service.
"This is a celebration of life. This is a celebration of sacrifice. For the first time, some of these guys and gals are hearing 'Thank you' publicly," U.S. Senator Tim Scott said. Scott is organizing the ceremony. In years past, he's organized similar ceremonies to honor veterans of World War II and the Korean War.
"This year we have a chance to say to a group of forgotten warriors, so often, the Vietnam-era vets, 'Thank you. You guys didn't cause the controversy. You weren't part of the controversy. You guys and gals served the nation as you were asked to do,'" Scott said.
Because many Americans did not agree with the United States' military involvement in Vietnam, soldiers returning home from the war did not receive the hero's welcome they deserved.
"We ought to separate the war fighter, the soldier who was willing to die for his country, from all of that controversy that surrounded the Vietnam era," Scott said. "And if we do the right thing, they should walk away with an appreciation that perhaps many of them have not received yet."
"I look at the price paid by so many of our warriors who served on foreign soil to keep our country safe, who've taken on the responsibility of donning a uniform and following orders, and so seldom do they receive public recognition as a group," Scott said.
"But for these folks and the grace of God, our land could be filled with turmoil and blood," he said. "But it's not because these guys represent the greatest force for peace on Earth."
The Vietnam War Era Veterans Honor Ceremony is Saturday, August 2 at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church on Hampton Street in Columbia. Everyone is welcome.
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