You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Editorial:General’s Memorial Day marred
Introduction by John Larrison of La Vernia. Larrison is a USAF Vietnam Veteran who lost eight of his Squadron flying mates during his 12-month tour of duty in Vietnam in 1965.
As a retired USAF Officer (22 years), I understand the old saying, “Rank has its privileges.” However, our current Commander-in-Chief has taken that privilege (call it what it really is -- Arrogance) to a new level. Case in point: I hope many of you watched some of the news coverage of our Commander-in-Chief’s Memorial Day ceremonies over the holiday. But did you notice the lack of people around the Vietnam Veterans Wall during his “Photo-Op” at the Wall on this very special day? I would expect to see numerous families and loved ones somewhere in the area of the Wall which contains the names of those we lost in Vietnam. But no! I didn’t see them. Neither did you. I’ll tell you why via the following first-person account of the event.
This information came to me recently via my military network of Vietnam vets, and explains why. Not from the rank and file but from a ranking USAF retired general officer. I will not include any names because it is not nice in military circles to “bad mouth” your leaders and commanders in public, which the Internet is. No need to go to Snopes to check this one.
The original message had the general’s name and phone number at the end. (Note: He did not hide behind a “Call Sign” or email ”User Name”.) I called him and he confirmed that the information was as described.
From: Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (3 Star)
As I usually do each Memorial Day and Veterans Day, I joined my fellow soldiers I served with in Vietnam to lay a wreath for our fallen at the Vietnam Veterans Wall. We always gather at 0903 hours at the Three Soldiers Monument.
There we meet for a while and after a few perfunctory duties and remarks about fellow members of the Blackhorse Regiment who had passed since we last gathered, we welcome each other home.
This Memorial Day, after walking across Memorial Bridge and rounding the Lincoln Memorial, I saw our guys all gathering outside of a barricade around the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. When I joined them I found out, to my total disbelief, that we could not enter: No veterans allowed.
The reason was that President Obama was coming to make a speech and the area was closed to everyone except special people with special passes until his speech was over five hours later. I was stunned.
Thousands of Vietnam veterans gathering like us, with wreaths in hand, to recognize our fallen were turned away so that a politician could give a speech.
Most of us had been there when Presidents Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 spoke. We were there for Clinton, although most of us turned our backs on him in one of the largest silent protests ever (totally unreported by the media), but even then, we were not turned away.
Today we were. I saw where in a poll that President Obama is over 25 points behind Romney with vets. If they all had experienced the treatment we experienced today, the spread would be even wider. I doubt if this will even be reported in the media. But, it should.
This was not our day; it was their day: the boys who lost their lives. But it was their brothers’ day to come and touch their names on the Wall and remember.
It was “Decoration Day” when we recognize those who gave their all for our freedom. It was not about our president and his attempt to appeal to the Vietnam Vets for votes.
Shut out, we met next to a hot dog stand under a shade tree and held our semi-annual ritual for our fallen. Later that day, one of our men stayed behind and saw to it that the wreath was placed at that section of the Wall where we lost the most during the war.
We won every battle in that war and were denied victory. We had to listen to an illiterate world say that we had lost our war. Our troops suffered more degradation, insults, hatred, and disgust from our countrymen than all other U.S. troops from all wars combined. We came home to a country that didn’t want us and to many countrymen who loathed us, but we persevered.
Today was just one more cut, but it was a cut that will not heal any time soon. I just wanted a bunch of you to know about this travesty. When we were turned away from the Wall, I went to lay wreaths on my mom and dad and brother and sister’s graves at Arlington. Guess what? They had that closed for the great man too!!!
Not sure who his canned audiences were at either place, but they did not include many veterans judging from the thousands of guys I saw going away pretty angry. -- Wayne
Your Opinions and Comments
Publius Valerius Publicola
June 6, 2012 3:18pm
Share your comment or opinion on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Section A: General News Archives
American Legion ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Annexation for fire services will be on November ballot (May 25, 2016)
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts to honor fallen heroes (May 25, 2016)
Camino Real plans Open House events (May 25, 2016)
Chief Hull resigns from Poth police (May 25, 2016)
County sets sights on new tax (May 25, 2016)
Court Update (May 25, 2016)
Editorial: Grim choices have put America in a grave situation (May 25, 2016)
Editorial: On the other side of politics in a world of digital divide (May 25, 2016)
Fire, EMS services — Who’s got you covered? (May 25, 2016)
It’s okay to take control (May 25, 2016)
Letter: Free ride over hard work … a no-brainer! (May 25, 2016)
Letter: Housing Foundation expresses gratitude (May 25, 2016)
Letter: Mainstream media ‘brainwashing’ Hispanic/Latino voters (May 25, 2016)
Meeting Watch: Wilson County Memorial Hospital District (May 25, 2016)
Memorial Day office closures (May 25, 2016)
One viewpoint: Making Floresville marketable with recreational facilities (May 25, 2016)
Parish plans Cemetery Ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Police arrest man in case of burned body (May 25, 2016)
Police Blotter (May 25, 2016)
Police ticket six for violating cell phone ban (May 25, 2016)
Post 539 service (May 25, 2016)
Poth electric vehicle users could be in for a 'shock' (May 25, 2016)
Poth High School students earn awards (May 25, 2016)
Severe storms shred Wilson County (May 25, 2016)
SSCA ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Teacher salaries, student lunch prices on the rise (May 25, 2016)
Tejano music to fill the air during Labor Day event (May 25, 2016)
Turner: New businesses coming to Floresville (May 25, 2016)
Berger earns Ph.D. from Columbia University (May 18, 2016)
Brahma Happenings (May 18, 2016)
Burning body spurs murder investigation (May 18, 2016)
Can I negotiate? (May 18, 2016)
Court Update (May 18, 2016)
Editorial: Narrow views promote intellectual, moral dry rot (May 18, 2016)
Editorial: The political climate in America goes from bad to worse (May 18, 2016)
Falls City ISD’s new K-12 building almost complete (May 18, 2016)
Floresville parks master plan would relocate ball fields (May 18, 2016)
Floresville parks plan wins council approval (May 18, 2016)
Foundation awards $9K in grants (May 18, 2016)
Foundation opens health grant process (May 18, 2016)
Graco recalls booster seats (May 18, 2016)
Grass fires on the rise (May 18, 2016)
Letter: An open letter to Congress (May 18, 2016)
Letter: Illegal immigration: Who will laugh last? (May 18, 2016)
Letter: What Hispanic vote? (May 18, 2016)
Lone Star Greys to meet (May 18, 2016)
Meeting Watch: La Vernia City Council (May 18, 2016)
Meeting Watch: Poth ISD (May 18, 2016)
Police Blotter (May 18, 2016)
Police recover one of two stolen trucks (May 18, 2016)
Register for free watercolor lesson (May 18, 2016)
Stockdale campus to get upgrade soon (May 18, 2016)
Stockdale City Council approves electronic payment processing (May 18, 2016)
TAMU-SA matches student scholarships (May 18, 2016)
Time to make plans to attend Jubilee (May 18, 2016)
Want fire protection? Attend May 19 hearing (May 18, 2016)
Acme Gold Buyers marks fifth year in Floresville (May 11, 2016)
All Veterans Job Fair (May 11, 2016)
Cemetery group to meet (May 11, 2016)
Children’s Alliance enhances care services (May 11, 2016)
China Grove mayor, police chief trade barbs at meeting (May 11, 2016)
Commissioners lukewarm toward hot coffee at library (May 11, 2016)
Competency and integrity (May 11, 2016)
Court Update (May 11, 2016)
Coy to get Ranger Cross (May 11, 2016)
Cub Scout Roundup (May 11, 2016)
Donate blood in May (May 11, 2016)
Editor: Trump’s candidacy sets in motion affliction in future elections (May 11, 2016)
Editorial: The voters have spoken — well, some of them have! (May 11, 2016)
Former Sutherland Springs VFD considered as a substation (May 11, 2016)
Free caregivers class starts May 26 (May 11, 2016)
Information sought in Walmart theft (May 11, 2016)
Lack of super majority vote keeps Clean Water Rule flowing (May 11, 2016)
Leetter: The government is a terrible investor (May 11, 2016)
Letter: Injection well site is near river, creeks (May 11, 2016)
Letter: Stop being negative (May 11, 2016)
LV youths win new wheels at Bike Rodeo (May 11, 2016)
Meeting Watch: La Vernia ISD (May 11, 2016)
Mineral rights workshop set (May 11, 2016)
Miss LV Pageant, Bluebonnet Parade, graduation fill La Vernia calendar (May 11, 2016)
New Wilson County justice center nears completion (May 11, 2016)
Personalized brick for Veterans Memorial (May 11, 2016)
Police Blotter (May 11, 2016)
Precinct 3 primary runoff is May 24 (May 11, 2016)
Rangers to honor Lorenz (May 11, 2016)
Rohrs takes over Floresville athletics (May 11, 2016)
Tanneberger qualifies for Executive Club membership (May 11, 2016)
Voters respond: One bond passes, another fails (May 11, 2016)
Wednesday morning crash injures nine (May 11, 2016)
AACOG plans public meeting (May 4, 2016)
Accident injures two drivers (May 4, 2016)
AgriLife offers tips to protect from Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (May 4, 2016)
Behind the lens: Solitary stillness (May 4, 2016)
Celebration Mass June 12 (May 4, 2016)
Cemetery association meeting (May 4, 2016)
Condos are fine, but do your research (May 4, 2016)
Court Update (May 4, 2016)
Crime Stoppers aids police anonymously (May 4, 2016)
DA, DPS bust nets 86 charges (May 4, 2016)
Debate over citizens comments dominates Floresville council (May 4, 2016)
Dwellings At Home offers lodge, ranch furnishings, more (May 4, 2016)
Editorial: Overbearing city council threatens boards’ independence (May 4, 2016)
Editorial: Taking personal responsibility will bring possibilities (May 4, 2016)
Editorial: Trump is the same old song with one more verse (May 4, 2016)
FEDC tables recommendation of master parks plan (May 4, 2016)
FELPS tornado repair continues as FEMA help stalls (May 4, 2016)
Floresville Chamber Luncheon May 18 (May 4, 2016)
Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Kotwig, Malcolm and Beverly Talley (May 4, 2016)
Letter: Alamo Colleges: A bust for Floresville (May 4, 2016)
Local nursing homes plan Senior Olympics May 9-13 (May 4, 2016)
Look twice for motorcycle riders (May 4, 2016)
Lyssy’s vault earns gold, sets records! (May 4, 2016)
Medicaid, CHIP application assistance (May 4, 2016)
Meeting Watch: Wilson County Commissioners Court (May 4, 2016)
National Day of Prayer May 5 (May 4, 2016)
Police Blotter (May 4, 2016)
Ramirez promoted to colonel (May 4, 2016)
Reserve a seat for SA Tea Party (May 4, 2016)
Tanneberger tops in sales (May 4, 2016)
Treviño prepares to take reins of East Central athletics (May 4, 2016)