Ceremony was held Wednesday, Vietnam War Veterans Day
It was a celebration of those who served, and a reminder that some wounds are still open, decades later.
The Community Military Appreciation Committee and Clark College Veterans Center of Excellence honored veterans on Vietnam Veterans Day on Wednesday, with veterans, family members, and immigrants sharing their stories, and the mayor of Vancouver dedicating a witness tree on the college campus.
Patrick Locke told the story about his father serving in World War II and when it came time for him to serve, he thought for just about a second about finding a way out of that responsibility. It only took a second, though.
“I knew I wasn’t going to take the route of getting out of it. If my country was calling me, I was going to go,” he said.
Locke was wounded three times in his time in Vietnam. The emotional scars continued.
“Going through all of those things that cause us trauma … there can be healing,” he said. “It takes all of us to help each other heal from the trauma we experienced.”
Don Super spoke of his involvement in the “Secret War” in Laos, and the guilt he experienced.
Paul Dinh Tran and Lee Po told of their experiences of moving from Asia to America soon after the war ended.
Tran moved to America when he was 10 years old. He graduated from the University of Washington and was commissioned in the U.S. Army.
Cha is now the executive director of Portland’s Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization.
“It’s a long journey. It’s about how my family got here,” Cha said. “I feel a great deal of gratitude for what (veterans) have done to not only protect the United States national interest but democracies and peace around the globe. Today is a good reminder of how we got here.”
Heather Atherton traveled from Sacramento, Calif., to speak at Wednesday’s ceremony. Her father, Michael Moore, suffered through survivor’s guilt for the rest of his life. Moore was on emergency leave with the rest of his crew and went on a mission just days before Operation Homecoming. The plane was shot down. Only one of the eight bodies was recovered, and there has been a mystery surrounding Baron 52 since that day.
Atherton said family members of the ones missing have been searching for answers from the government for 50 years.
Dozens of veterans, family members, and other guests walked outside to dedicate a Turkish Brown Fir as a witness tree, in honor of those who served in the Vietnam War era.
Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle noted how so many veterans came home and were treated terribly.
“So today, let’s remind all who served in that conflict that they are still appreciated. They are still honored. They are still respected. They still are deserving of our deepest gratitude for all that they have given through their service, even 50 years later,” McEnerny-Ogle said.
“I look forward to helping amplify and continue their legacy with this beautiful tree, dedicated to all those veterans who served in combat and on the homefront,” she said.
Veterans walked in between flags held high by the Patriot Guard Riders. Veterans also received a lapel pin for their service. Retired Col. Larry Smith, Paul Speer of the Clark College Board of Trustees also spoke. A letter was read from Congresswoman Marie Glusenkamp Perez. Mike Burton of CMAC was the host of the ceremony.
- High school football: Milestone meeting between rivals Evergreen and Mountain ViewEvergreen and Mountain View renew their long football rivalry as the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League season begins in Week 5 of the the season.
- POLL: Do you believe there should be a forensic audit of the Clark County Elections Department?Do you believe there should be a forensic audit of the Clark County Elections Department?
- Opinion: Seven years of blessingsEditor Ken Vance reflects on the seven years since Clark County Today was launched as a community news website.
- Vancouver is expanding its ‘Safe Stay’ homeless housing programThe city of Vancouver is planning to open five “Safe Stay” shelters for homeless people, with each site providing up to 40 homeless people with their own private units.
- Opinion: Washington State Supreme Court narrowly upholds Inslee’s eviction moratoriumIn a 5-4 decision, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld Governor Inslee’s eviction moratorium during the pandemic.
- Legal expert tells Biden impeachment hearing: President ‘has lied’In his presentation, Jonathan Turley went into detail about the history of impeachment, what has been used as a standard in the past, and pointed out that investigations by Congress have proven the need for such hearings.
- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tests positive for COVID-19 for the third timeWashington Governor Jay Inslee tests positive for COVID-19 for the third time, the first in May 2022 and again this February.