Vietnam Traveling Wall Visits the American Veterans Monuments in Niagara Falls from July 11th – 16th

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By: Ken Hamilton

 

“What’s that”, they asked, when I told a small group of young students that the Vietnam Traveling Wall would be visiting the city on Wednesday, July 11th. “You have heard about that war in Vietnam,” I asked. “Haven’t you?” None had heard. 
 
As you read these words, these same high school students will likely have safely gone to the places around the area where they would have witnessed the night skies producing vivid and colorful explosions of fireworks, followed by the heart rattling noise of their terrible and booming expressions of power and devastating force.
 
But by the time that the week is over, these young souls will likely have forgotten even those sights and sounds of the Independence Day celebrations. the fireworks, much less their memory or knowledge of Vietnam is as far away from their thoughts as are the battlefields where within and upon the cities, the roads and the rivers, the muddy rice paddies, the jungle-covered hills and the open fields, and even the briny seas be unknown to them.  These were the places from which came the unearned freedoms that were given to them so that they can debate among themselves what they have the right to have and to say. How then would they remember or know the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address?  
 
Lincoln said, “But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men [and women], living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
 
Stan Zimmerman and the other members of the Niagara Falls Veterans Monument Commission invite all area citizens to come on Wednesday, July 11th through Monday, July 16th (2018) to Hyde Park Blvd and Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls NY.
 
A motorcycle escort will lead the monument on July 11TH at 11:30 from the Chapel at Crosspoint at 500 Crosspoint Pkwy Getsville NY.
 
I am happy about the reception that we give our warriors today, and I try to forget the very real fireworks that I and others saw firsthand, and our lack of a reception home. Let’s come out and give the Vietnam War vets the welcome home that they so genuinely deserve.
 

 

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