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Americans, Vietnamese gave up much in war

As published in the Bellingham Herald on August 19th, 2000

"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row." (John McCrea, 1915)

The Wall has come to our county to honor the servicemen who sacrificed their lives so that people in another land could live in freedom.

On Sunday (Aug. 13), a special event was held to honor the Vietnamese who fought for freedom in their homeland. A special tribute was given to Kiet Van Nguyen, who served in the South Vietnamese navy's equivalent of the Seals. Kiet received many commendations, including the U.S. Navy Cross for his participation in the rescue of a downed U.S. Air Force pilot, code-named BAT-21 (on video).

The blood of our youth fell on foreign soil, and our nation lost its innocence as the magnitude of our loss unfolded during those turbulent years.

For the Vietnamese servicemen, many lost their lives, their families, their freedom and their country. They are a resilient people who have assimilated into our community, while retaining their own identity and sense of pride.

The Wall, like the poem, portrays the cost of the war in human terms and remains a visceral reminder of the sacrifices of those who fought, those who died, and those who survived.
Sheila L Richardson

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