- The Washington Times - Monday, November 11, 2002

Several days of remembrance for U.S. war veterans will culminate today when, in one of many area celebrations, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, speak at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
From Thursday afternoon until midnight yesterday, about 1,000 volunteers read the 58,229 names on the memorial wall.
The tribute to those who died while serving in the war was a chance to thank active soldiers and remember veterans, said Jan Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial Fund.
"You can always visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but this is the time to visit," Mr. Scruggs said. "It's all about the names; it's all about the memories; it's all about the patriotism."
Though today is the 20th anniversary of the wall, this is only the third time in the District that all the names have been read. The first reading took place at the National Cathedral and the second on the wall's 10th anniversary. The Memorial Fund also held a 16-hour musical tribute Wednesday honoring veterans.
"We're sending a message that we don't forget our veterans and victims," Mr. Scruggs said.
Vietnam Veterans of America Inc. is holding a march down Constitution Avenue toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 8 a.m.
At Arlington National Cemetery's annual Nov. 11 celebration, marking the anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918, the U.S. Marine Band will begin the day by performing at the cemetery's Memorial Amphitheater. A half-hour later, a wreath will be placed at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
A 4 p.m. wreath-laying service is scheduled at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, at the entrance of the cemetery.
Other ceremonies today include an 11 a.m. showing of the documentary "Fight for Freedom" at the Lincoln Theatre. The film portrays the involvement of blacks in the Union Army and their effect on the Civil War, and is sponsored by the African American Civil War Memorial.
On Friday, the American Enterprise Institute showed the film "Man Versus Myth," the first in a four-part documentary created to dispel some commonly held ideas on soldiers in the Vietnam War.
Calvin Crane, a photojournalist in Vietnam and the filmmaker, said the infantrymen too often are seen as unintelligent youths who were forced into service. But more soldiers volunteered for Vietnam compared with other wars, and they were collectively more highly educated.
"We really felt we had to tell this story because no one else would," said Mr. Crane.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide