Recently, I had a conversation with artist Wayne Williams, who created the sculpture in the Veterans Garden in Rochester, N.Y., of a Vietnam-era soldier walking into a black granite wall. I was very curious about his mindset when creating this very powerful sculpture. What was the broader concept behind this very striking piece? I also am writing this to express my opinion that it's important to support a project to create a similar monument in St. Louis County to honor Vietnam War veterans here afflicted by Agent Orange.
The Oct. 24 letter, “Military funeral story had serious errors,” was itself full of serious errors and also was divisive, uninformed and, to me, inflammatory. It unfairly attacked me personally...
Memorial Day is the most hallowed day of remembrance for all soldiers, all veterans and the families of our fallen. It is especially important to those who have experienced the loss of fellow soldiers or who have witnessed the carnage of war firsthand. Unfortunately, too many Americans, veterans included, still do not understand the intent of who and what is to be remembered this holiday weekend. So I am going to put it into terms people can understand.
Too many veterans are being denied military funeral honors because too many county veteran services officers and funeral home directors are simply uninformed about who does and does not qualify. This has been especially true in Douglas County. But no matter where it happens, it’s tragic any time a veteran who deserves it and whose family wants it goes without funeral honors.
On July 5, the News Tribune published a letter headlined, “Real patriotism requires active citizens.” I couldn’t have agreed more with the headline. However, I couldn’t have disagreed more with the letter and its unfounded and thoughtless inferences. I always have believed that how someone conveys something helps determine how it is received. When words like “shallow” are used to refer to someone with a differing viewpoint the message is not going to be well-received by that someone.
What is Memorial Day? What is it, really? Memorial Day is a day of “remembrance” for all soldiers, veterans and every American citizen. It is a day on which we as a nation honor our war dead — and only our war dead. It is to remember people who died during a time of war or on battlefields, preserving our nation’s sovereignty and interests. We remember: These are lives that were never lived. What is sacrifice without remembrance? Absolutely nothing, and that is why I am writing this.