Veteran's Day is officially Wednesday of this week (Nov. 11th), and we noted that over the past weekend a couple of celebrations were held in both Portland and Vancouver to recognize the veterans who have served our nation.
The Columbian reported on a celebration that took place Saturday the 7th at Fort Vancouver. According to that article, Oregon Air National Guard Col. Paul Fitzgerald gave an address in which he quoted George Washington:
“The willingness with which young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional with how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
We acknowledge that we live in a volatile world, and as we go about our daily lives — driving home to our families, walking our dogs in the neighborhood, enjoying Fall sports — it is good to remember what so many have sacrificed to in order preserve our way of life.
In Portland, Vietnam War veterans were honored at a ceremony held at Willamette National Cemetery in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of that war. Fifty years have passed, but the memories endure.
OregonLive.com quoted one vet who attended, Robert Gustafson:
“I enlisted in the Army in 1970. Went to Vietnam in '71 and '72. I was an aviation crew chief. I crewed on helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft at Marble Mountain, which is right on China Beach.
It was important for me to be here today to remember my fellow veterans that died and didn't return. I think a lot of us have a survivor's guilt. We wonder why were we the ones that were saved instead of someone else. It was pretty emotional for me today, especially ‘Taps' and the bagpipes — that really got to me. It was important to be here for my brothers alive and deceased.”
Let us never forget.