Skip to main content

tv   Defense Sec. Other Officials Participate in Veterans Day Ceremony  CSPAN  November 11, 2022 1:11pm-2:31pm EST

1:11 pm
i'm sorry i could not have joined. i have a bad eye so i could not get in. i was sad about that. i am just proud of him. every vet i have met, they think different. they have a can-do attitude. they just have that good attitude. they seem that whatever happens they are ready, they can do it. i wish i had a 10th of that. host: >> today is the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the vietnam memorial on the national mall. the names of more than 58,000 people are etched on the black
1:12 pm
granite. the men and women who died in combat or listed as set -- missing in action. they are visiting the memorial on this veterans day. you are watching live coverage here on c-span.
1:13 pm
1:14 pm
1:15 pm
1:16 pm
>> ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i am the president and ceo of the vietnam veterans memorial fund and it is my pleasure to welcome you to our veterans day observance at the wall on the occasion of our 40th anniversary. to all of our vietnam veterans, welcome home to this place our nation has set aside for you. [applause} i am asked fairly often when is the best time to come to the wall and my immediate response is always. every day is a good day to be at the wall so thank you for joining me here on a less than
1:17 pm
spectacular weather day, but for this great day to be at the wall. if you look behind you, you saw them as they came in. you will notice our special colorguard. as part of our 40th anniversary we partnered with the vietnam veterans of america organization . dozens of their chapters around the country have sent colorguard's, i think 32 states in the territory of puerto rico. and it is an honor to have them to be a part of our event which is the first time we've done what we call this massing of the colors in this way. it is part of our ceremony at the wall. we are privileged to have the secretary of defense, secretary of veterans affairs, and former secretary of defense chuck hagel as our special guests. thank you for coming. [applause]
1:18 pm
you will get to hear from them a little bit later. and we also think this is the first time we've had the secretary of defense and the secretary of the v.a. both speak at one of our events here at the wall. i think -- i thank you for coming and braving the elements on this day to help us honor our vietnam veterans. before we begin the program, i would like to recognize the goldstar family members with us today, including ann sherman will caught. -- wilcot. she is a vietnam era goldstar mother and her son racks is on -- rx -- a special thanks goes to all of our wall volunteers, folks with yellow jackets and hats. those are park service volunteers at this wall helping visitors every single day.
1:19 pm
i would like to thank the staff for all of their work as well. [applause] it is my alice and lisa for underwriting the 40th anniversary event. our platinum sponsor, tricare west health alliance and gold sponsors usaa and dr. robert winter meyer, joined by numerous other donors and it is a certainty we would not be able to put on these events without their support, and the support of all those who help us at the vietnam veterans memorial fund. thank you. 2022 marks the 47th year since the last american casualty in the vietnam war, yet for some families those years did not bring closure as they waited for their family and friends. i call your attention to the empty chair on our stage as a
1:20 pm
symbol of the 1581 americans who still remain missing or unaccounted for, from the vietnam war. yet in remembering them, we must also recognize that we shall not rest until we have the fullest possible accounting of those who remain missing from the vietnam war. [applause] now i'd like to start our program with the invocation. rabbi, if you will join me. please welcome a vietnam veteran and rabbi. rabbi resnick off was standing right here 40 years ago and provided the benediction at the dedication ceremony. i've gotten to know him over the last several years and am happy to call him a friend. we are thrilled to have him back 40 years later to lead us in the
1:21 pm
invocation. >> almighty god, we pray and reflect, meditate in different ways, but today together, honor our brave, our heroes, the veterans of what must remain a grateful nation. under state 1918, 11th day, 11th month, 11th hour of the day we signed armistice to end the first world war, the war to end all wars we prayed. but other wars would follow, many more would serve. armistice day renamed, reborn now veterans day, salutes all those who served and answered to duty's call. we pledge to honor those who sacrificed but too many times we
1:22 pm
failed and broke faith with those who served. we broke faith with those who died. 40 years ago we built this wall of memory, of healing, to remember lives we lost in vietnam, but more than that to remember vows we made and debts we owe to all veterans, their families, and those who serve today. we ask forgiveness from those we failed in the past and renew our solemn vow to welcome home, truly welcome home all those who served with grateful words and caring hearts in every action we can take, every dollar we can spend, knowing far too well our debts can never be repaid in full. and some wounds of war will never truly heal. we remember as has been said, we are the land of the free only so long as we are the home of the brave.
1:23 pm
and we must forever thank the brave who keep us free. grant us faith to keep our dreams alive and thanks to those we honor here today at this wall of healing and hope, this safe space that became for us a sacred space, one day will beat our swords to plowshares and woe will be no more. may we say amen. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, rabbi. i'd like to introduce the armed forces colorguard from the military district of washington for our presentation of colors. please stand if you are able. colorguard, present the colors.
1:24 pm
as they come forward, we have the honor of the national anthem being performed by staff sergeant keaton webb. please remain standing after the anthem for the pledge of allegiance led by vietnam veteran rod get -- ron gibbs and remain standing until the colorguard retires the colors. [colorguard presenting colors] >> ♪ o, say can yousee
1:25 pm
by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight last gleaming? whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight oo'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there o, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
1:26 pm
♪ >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. >> colorguard, retire the colors.
1:27 pm
[colorguard retiring colors] >> colorguard, you are dismissed. everyone, please be seated. it is my pleasure to introduce today's master of ceremonies, the chairman of the board of the vietnam veterans memorial fund. he's a decorated vietnam veteran, a member of the somewhat famous fox force recon unit, and went on to be successful in business with a career as the ceo of princess cruises, and retiring as the chief operations officer at
1:28 pm
carnival corporation. please welcome alan buckaloo. there will more -- >> it is an honor to mark the 40th anniversary of the vietnam veterans memorial. each year we hold the ceremony with the park service so please welcome the superintendent of the national mall and memorial park's. [applause] >> good afternoon. on behalf of the national park service it is my pleasure to welcome you to the vietnam veterans memorial.
1:29 pm
visitors, distinguished guests, families and friends, but especially veterans and families of veterans, we are honored by your presence as we mark veterans day and the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the memorial. i especially want to acknowledge those who have came -- come great distances to be here. we are honored to be entrusted with the care of this memorial for the past 40 years, and to host more than 130 million visitors who have come here to pay their respects, to remember, to share their stories. there is also -- it is also our honor to care for the vietnam women's memorial which recognizes the 260 5000 women, all volunteers, who served. i would like to acknowledge and thank our partners, the vietnam veterans memorial fund, especially its president and chief executive officer and
1:30 pm
america's national parks provides educational programs for the vietnam women's memorial. those individuals are instrumental partners in not only maintaining these memorials but bringing their stories to life for this and future generations. jim mentioned earlier but i want to recognize our volunteers from the national park service who interpret and maintain this memorial and help educate more than 5.5 million visitors each year who come to this iconic place. we are proud that more than one quarter of our employees and volunteers are veterans of americans armed forces and continue to serve our nation through the national park service. the experiences they bring to this sacred site and their willingness to share them create unique opportunities for our visitors to connect with this memorial and the men and women at honors. the memorial is one of more than
1:31 pm
400 sites the national park service overseas, nearly a quarter of which including battlefields, military parks and monuments, commemorate the military and those who have served their country. over the past 40 years, the vietnam veterans memorial has emerged as unique among them. it is a living, interactive memorial dedicated less than a decade after the war's end, the conflict still fresh in the american consciousness. it is hard to imagine the national mall without the memorials and without the wall when it was just a plaque. the wall is in stark contrast to many previous memorials that were fixated on great commanders and individuals. it does not glorify war, but rather glorifies the names that are on it. it focuses on the common soldier . after kirk's average referred to the wall as the democratization
1:32 pm
of the public monument, a shift from the great man idea of history to one that encompasses early -- ordinary man. it broke with convention and treated the viewer as a participant, not just a bystander. white simply, redefined more aerial and public member -- quite simply, redefined memorial and public memory. people come to honor their friends,, ads -- comrades in arms and those they've never met. they are drawn to the names and their reflections and the reflection of someone lost and perhaps to glimpsed again in a new generation. today on veterans day, we stand in the shadow of the lincoln memorial. we pause to remember those who served and those in lincoln's words who gave the last full measure of devotion. etched on this wall are the names of men and women who made
1:33 pm
the supreme sacrifice in service to their country but to live on through every visit. we in the national park service with our volunteers and partners take great pride in taking care of this memorial for you, for this generation, and we renew our commitment to do the same for the generation yet to come. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, superintendent. it is my pleasure to introduce connie evans on behalf of the vietnam women's memorial. she is a native american born and raised on a nez perce reservation. she served in vietnam. after returning home she served as a nurse in the army and the u.s. health public service course.
1:34 pm
she is an advisor, consultant, and educator. please welcome connie evans. [applause] welcome. >> thank you. today we are commemorating the 40th anniversary of the vietnam wall. thank you to mr. jan scruggs for his vision to honor those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. also to diane carlsen evans for her determination to see that the vietnam women's veterans memorial was built to honor all women who served in vietnam. the names of over 58,000
1:35 pm
including eight women on the wall will forever remind us of the tragedy of war. today, there are thousands of veterans both male and female who are still suffering. since the vietnam war, many have died by suicide caused by ptsd, from agent orange caused diseases, cancer, and old war injuries. the in memory program honors these veterans who returned and later died from causes related to their service in vietnam. more than 5600 veterans' names have been added to the honor roll. i am honored today to represent approximately 11,000 women who served in vietnam. about 90% of these women were nurses. thousands of other women served
1:36 pm
in japan, guam, the philippines, hawaii, and statewide hospitals. they cared for the wounded who were medevac from vietnam. there is also a number of civilian women who served in vietnam. we also remember the women back home who adored -- who endured the loss of their husbands, sons, and sisters. most of us arrived in vietnam just out of school with little experience. we were clueless about the many difficulties that we would face. we would soon witness -- we were soon witness to the realities of war, deaths of men even younger than ourselves. we had to adapt to the conditions of each situation as they occurred. we had little choice but to do our jobs, sometimes without the
1:37 pm
needed equipment and supplies. every woman who served has a unique individual story. however, there are threads of commonality that most of us share. we were not prepared to be in a war but often fighting was happening all around us. i know at the 12th evacuation hospital, i served in november 1966 to 1967, we learned fast to distinguish between incoming and outgoing. when to get to the bunker and in the hospital, how to protect our patients. these things all happened while we were trying to become accustomed to the heat and dirt of the dry season, the rain and the mud of the monsoons, the
1:38 pm
hospital provided medical support to the 25th division which was located at -- it was surrounded by the woods, the rubber plantations, and to the east the iron triangle. part of the base was built over the tunnels used by the viet cong. there were days of mass casualties. the wounded and the dead brought in by helicopters. constantly landing, one after the other. we prayed that it would stop. but they just kept coming. on these days, we worked for long hours without sleep or rest. the sheer number of dead and wounded we received makes it difficult for us to remember names. but we remember your eyes, your
1:39 pm
faces, and your injuries. we provided care for your injuries. listened to your stories and wrote letters. most of all, we remembered that you fought for each of us. those memories of what we witnessed, our successes and failures will forever be embedded in our minds. they will haunt our dreams and temper our every emotion as we live. during that year, we formed long-lasting friendships and some still exist today. i believe that we nurses were valuable and we did everything we could to help our patients survive. the contributions of the women who served our endless and will never be forgotten. for those young men whom we couldn't save, let me reassure families that we did everything we could and treated them with
1:40 pm
respect. i am proud to be the first native american woman to speak here at the wall. i represent the nez perce tribe of iowa, one of over 500 indigenous tribes in the united states. over 40,000 indigenous americans served in vietnam. the names of three nez perce tribal members who died are stephen elmwood junior, darrell jackson, and daniel -- j hour. the national museum of the american indian is honoring veterans for their service in all branches of the military, in a special ceremony today. i wish to thank the vietnam women's memorial, eastern national advisory group, and the
1:41 pm
vietnam veterans memorial fund for inviting me to speak on behalf of women veterans. god -- thank you and god be with you until we meet again. [applause] >> thank you, captain evans. that was very special. it is my pleasure to welcome a special guest to introduce our keynote speakers, a veteran enlisted in the army, senator from nebraska, and the 24 secretary of defense, the honorable chuck hagel. [applause]
1:42 pm
mr. hagel: thank you very much. to all of you, happy veterans day. to our veterans especially, we are grateful for the contributions you've made to our country. the contributions you are still making and will continue to make. my role here today is to introduce two individuals who not only are we very honored to have but in their own ways, have contributed a tremendous amount to the good of this country and to make a better world. i will do that in a minute or two, but i've been given a little reprieve to make a couple comments. i will do that.
1:43 pm
i'm still adjusting to bad habits i picked up in the senate. you just continue to speak. [laughter] mr. hagel: so if you will bear with me a couple minutes, let me address a couple things. 40 years ago, i had the honor of participating in the groundbreaking of this memorial. another individual who also spoke 40 years ago is here, general price. wherever he is, i know he's here somewhere -- right here, general price. [applause] mr. hagel: i did not realize at the time, i suspect general price didn't either, but i never speak for generals.
1:44 pm
this memorial would have such an impact on our country, when you think about it, there was no world war ii memorial. there was no world war i memorial. there was no korean war memorial until there was a vietnam veterans memorial. now that leadership. [applause] mr. hagel: and we are still building vietnam veteran memorials across this country. i'm involved in one in my home state across -- home state of nebraska. jan scruggs is on the board and i appreciate jan's leadership as he does so much for this country, not just vietnam veterans and their families but all veterans and all americans. i want to thank also some of the original members of the vietnam veterans memorial board. three of them that i saw are
1:45 pm
here today, terry gibbs, bob dubek and of course jan scruggs. it is hard to really appreciate totally the impact that jan scruggs has had on notches this memorial, but on all that -- not just this memorial but on all veterans and what is right about this country, and there is an awful lot right about this country. this is a time in our country and the world that is in some trouble. we are polarized. we are politically divided. but this memorial and our veterans community, not just heal themselves and their families, but they serve a bigger purpose in many ways of addressing the divisions of this country. this country supports its
1:46 pm
veterans. veterans have a way of teaching. have a way of serving. have a way of contributing, all selflessly. i think those are things that often get lost in our world today and we are more focused on our divisions or what we disagree on. but there is awful lot we agree on. and i think that's as big a part of what this memorial today represents, as anyone part of what it represents, and it represents a lot of parts. i know my colleagues, secretary austin, secretary mcdonough, and many of you here from their counterparts all over the world about our veterans, about how we
1:47 pm
care for our veterans, how we support our veterans, and what our veterans mean to each community in this country. so thank you all. not just vietnam veterans, but in particular today, it is the vietnam veteran day, but it is all veterans day for all veterans all over this country. i thank you very much again for your contributions to this country. may be more important, what you represent, who you are, the standard and the model and the example that you set, thank you [applause] [applause] . now allow me to take on my first task of the day and that is
1:48 pm
introducing our two distinguished speakers. i have known denis mcdonough, our secretary of veterans affairs, for many years. i worked with him for many years. he has been a leader in every way, in government in this country. a boy he was born and raised in minnesota, with a small family of 11, that's why he's still so thin. [laughter] when you look at what denis mcdonough has done for this country and the house of representatives and the senate and staff director, professional director, there's not an issue he has not touched. for eight years, he was an indispensable part of the obama administration. the last four years of that
1:49 pm
administration, he was chief of staff to the president of the united states. a graduate of a small college in minnesota, st. john's, then he got his masters degree at georgetown. he's continued not only to accelerate and improve himself, but he's brought people along. and today's world and what veterans need and what veterans families need, i can think of no one more equipped in every way to lead the veterans administration for all of us, and for our country. ladies and gentlemen, help me welcome the 11th secretary of veterans affairs, denis mcdonough. [applause] sec. mcdonough: thank you very much. secretary hagel, thank you.
1:50 pm
it is a very kind introduction. you all know chuck hagel by a lot of titles. senator, secretary of defense, administrator of the veterans administration, and a highly successful business leader. the title that i think describes him best and which i think he values most, the titles of vietnam veteran and -- so since that day, you and your brother enlisted in serve in vietnam you always answered the cause -- the call for service. welcome home and thank you. [applause] secretary austin, they had me speak first because nobody wants
1:51 pm
to speak after lloyd, gold star and sherman wilcol, veterans and members of our armed forces, veterans organizations, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and most importantly vietnam veterans and your families, it is an honor to be with you today on this veterans day to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the dedication of this wall, an enduring living monument dedicated to remembering the 58,000 -- 58,281 brave men and women who died in vietnam. chiseled into the polished black granite and etched into the history of our nation are the names of those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who answered the call to defend the
1:52 pm
country they never knew and a people they never met. and gave, in the words of president lincoln, the last full measure of devotion to our country. for decades, those names have taught us as secretary hagel just said, the importance of remembering the stories of valor and sacrifice of the warriors in vietnam. stories like the 18-year-old corporal, rex sherman who enlisted as a 17-year-old high school senior. corporal sherman was mortally wounded while trying to deliver captured enemy documents to a waiting helicopter and as jim said just a couple minutes ago, memorialized on panel 15 w. his mom, former national
1:53 pm
president of the american gold star mothers is with us today. the country acknowledges and honors the way you bear the loss of your son, a hero. we will never forget him or his sacrifice. [applause] it is an extraordinary act to put on the nation's uniform, leave the safety of your home, deployed to a war zone in a foreign land and fight for the freedom of someone else. our vietnam veterans performed at extraordinary act again as secretary hagel just said, during a time of great polarization and challenge here at home. so much so that too few of you were afforded an appropriate
1:54 pm
homecoming. my predecessor at v.a., the general who knew the price of war after serving two combat tours in vietnam and sustaining critical injuries for which he obtained two purple hearts, said all who fought in vietnam came home changed, older than our years, tougher, more serious, and less vital but somehow less lighthearted. 10 years ago today at another ceremony on these hallowed grounds, he described this to mario appropriately i believe is a "time capsule of the heart." so for me, the wall is a reminder that these heroes not only answered the call of
1:55 pm
service but they also issued the cynicism --eschewed the cynicism even when it was justified, to fight with their brothers and sisters in arms, and then return home to continue the fight. nobody represents that dedication to his brothers and sisters in arms and his country than a man who came home with memories of fallen comrades and found a way to memorialize them. that man was corporal jan scruggs who on a cold january day in vietnam, saw 12 of his comrades killed during the unloading of mortar rounds. he never forgot that day. never forgot those men. never forgot their names.
1:56 pm
so years after his service, corporal scruggs dreamed for a way of connecting those who are forever young to those who will never forget them. to the families and loved ones left behind. that dream, this wall. this solemn remembrance and for 40 years, the wall has taught generations about the power of loss and the power of love. about the power of service. as chuck hagel just said. jan uniquely represents and that vets uniquely rocket -- represent. at this time, far too much division and far too much discord at home. let's rededicate ourselves for
1:57 pm
at least the next 40 years to the vision of supporting one another, brothers in arms, as personified by jan scruggs. because vets like him, vets like all of you, vets like chuck hagel, set the example for the rest of us. in this awesome country. in so many ways, you are the keepers of this country's national ethos, that deep and abiding sense of purpose that you learn in serving. your camaraderie, your sense of teamwork that made you stronger, stronger together in combat, and now stronger together in your communities. looking around as chuck just said, that is exactly what we need today.
1:58 pm
camaraderie. truth. togetherness. true service. true patriotism. simply put, through your service, and your selflessness, you teach us. you remind us what it truly means to be an american and for that, and for so much else, we are forever in your debt. this wall reminds us of that. this day reminds us of that and we will never, ever forget it. god bless you all. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. before i introduce the secretary
1:59 pm
of defense, let me also acknowledge once again the director of the nebraska national park service. thank you, sir, for what you do and for all of your people every day to make this a better place. thank you. [applause] mr. hagel: and to connie for your comments, please thank diane carlsen evans for what she has done, and all of you, to contribute not only to this monument but also the addition that has just made it stronger and more complete. one of the opportunities i've had over the years was to serve as the treasurer of her organization as they were working through what can we
2:00 pm
place here that would recognize the service of nurses and give an additional beneficial dimension to this monument? thank you to all. and the goldstar mothers, thank you for your leadership. and as denis just said, we not only all recognize the sacrifices the families have made, over the years, but we recognize the great service of those we lost [applause] i want to introduce the secretary of defense. lloyd james austin the third is a friend, someone i've worked with over the years, and like
2:01 pm
dennis, has made incredible contributions to this country in different ways. all of them important. we all do what we can. teddy roosevelt once said you do the best you can where you are with what you've got. i've always thought that is a turn of phrase that explains it all. in each individual life about contributions to this country. lloyd j austen the third is a graduate of west point. he picked up a couple matchers -- masters degrees on his way to become a four-star general, and he served as the vice chief of staff to the army, and one of the duties i performed as
2:02 pm
secretary of defense was to swear him in as a commanding officer. the commander. central command. it is about as difficult a position in our armed forces as there has been in the last 20 years, because that commander and responsibility for the word iraqi and afghanistan, as well as all of the middle east. he performed every job he's ever been called upon to take, with incredible decency, honesty, and professionalism. each command that he had, he left those commands stronger than when he took them over. it is a great privilege to me to
2:03 pm
introduce to you someone you all know a lot about. the 28th secretary of defense, secretary general lloyd james austin the third. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for that very generous introduction, and thank you for your brave service to your country in vietnam in your lifetime of leadership by example as a public servant. and after such a great
2:04 pm
introduction, i should probably sit down. let me also thank secretary mcdonough. for those six for those extra neri efforts on behalf of american veterans. we are really fortunate to have secretary mcdonough he is -- in the position he's in. he does extraordinary things on behalf of our veterans. her family members. veterans, service members, families of those who have served, and especially our goldstar families and our p.o.w. mia families, i am deeply honored to be with you today. on behalf of the department of defense, let me say thank you for all you have given for the cause of freedom.
2:05 pm
today, i would like to talk about the legacy of those who have served our country and the legacy they leave for future generations. it is fitting we should do so. for 40 years, this wall has never been just about history. this place has beckoned visitors to feel a connection between the past and present in simple ways. reaching out a hand and touching a name. standing at the wall, hand outstretched, we feel that the sacrifices of these 58,000 281 all americans remain with us. they shape who we are.
2:06 pm
they urge us to live up to america's full promise. to every veteran, to every man and woman who has served or still dies, you put on the cloth of our nation, and america is safer and stronger. that is the last legacy of your search. it demands our lasting gratitude. when i think about those who serve what they give to us all, i think about the quiet devotion and compassion of america -- an american medic who visited this wall when it was dedicated.
2:07 pm
he searched anxiously for the name of a g.i. who he had treated in vietnam. whose wounds had always haunted him. so, row by row, he slowly realized that the g.i.'s name wasn't on the wall. the medic cried out, realizing that his patient and survive. i think about the son of chihuahua mexico. in vietnam, in 1966, ace peschel list found his platoon under assault. defying orders, he ran towards the firefight to help. surrounded by teammates and
2:08 pm
injured, he threw his body in front of a comrade to shield him from enemy fire. incredibly, the specialist repeated this act of bravery two more times. he covered two other teammates to absorb the explosions. that day, a young man who was not born in the united states showed us the very best of america. he recovered from his injuries. he became an american citizen. amazingly, he volunteered for another tour in vietnam he continued to serve his country and eventually he became the director of the selective service system.
2:09 pm
somehow the request for his medal of honor got lost. but the soldiers in his platoon never forgot his courage. so they kept pushing. more than three decades later, a specialist finally received his medal of honor. when he accepted it, he said, the honor is not really mine. so he asked the platoon mates who were there with him that day to stand up and to be recognized and i think about vietnam veterans who join the military after seeing a recruiting at four army nurses on tv. she was sent to a hospital in vietnam working 12 hour shifts,
2:10 pm
working in intensive care. she and her fellow nurses cared for american gis and prisoners. they traveled into villages to treat anyone who needed it. one night, during the tet offensive when an explosive -- explosion tore to their building, a young nurse lifted up the nurse by her self and sheltered her for protection. will all smith had found her calling. after she came home, she stayed on as an army nurse, treating patients all over the country, and rising through the ranks as a nurse recruiter. during operation desert storm in 1991, colonel smith found herself treating the war wounded
2:11 pm
overseas once again. a quarter-century after she went to vietnam. years later, reflecting on her career, she simply said, i'm just very proud to be part of it. i think about one more veteran. my uncle. i come from a family with a proud history of military service, and one of my uncle served in vietnam as a communicator. he was the first african-american green beret i ever saw. so he came home wearing a green beret, those jump wings, he was very impressive.
2:12 pm
my uncle was deeply and quietly proud of what he had contributed. his pride help to inspire me to serve as well. my uncle showed me how meaningful service could be. he showed me the way that one act of service can lead to many more. let us never underestimate what service can mean. never forget the ripple set in motion by the americans who fought in vietnam. including veterans who made -- may never have fully realized what a difference they made to those around them. service lifts up others. it enriches your own life and it makes you part of a proud american story. part of the solemn duty that is
2:13 pm
move so many across the general test generations. leaving the country better than you found it. now, for four decades, this memorial is brought americans together no matter what they thought of the war in vietnam. in that time, another generation of veterans has come home. i like to recognize those who served in iraq and afghanistan. [applause] each of you is also a part of the story of service. in 2008, 1 of my fellow vets came to this sacred place. he left a pair of his combat boots at this wall.
2:14 pm
along with the boots he left a note. he wrote, quote, brothers, these are my lucky boots. they got me through two wars on the ground in iraq. i figured you would appreciate them more than the garbageman. his note continued. the truth of the matter is, we owe you an awful lot. if your generation had not come home to cheers and insults and protest, my generation would not have come home to thanks and handshakes and hugs. >> [applause] he ended it by saying rest easy, gentlemen. he signed it as the first lieutenant of the niceties
2:15 pm
marine corps. as frank said, american troops should always come home to thanks and handshakes and hugs. as we know after the vietnam war, that wasn't always the case. if so many veterans work to build bridges, to heal the nation's wounds and ensure that their successors would be treated with dignity and respect read let me also recognize others for their tireless work to build a memorial and it's where your legacy. a legacy of healing and remembrance and a legacy of understanding. to all of our veterans, by lending your talents to the military, you made a stronger and smart.
2:16 pm
by serving with compassion, you set an example for the next generation. by given so much, you remind us that this democracy is worth defending. you can see the legacy of all those who so nobly served when you speak with extraordinary men and women in uniform today. when i visit our installations at home and around the world, i am privileged to see firsthand the best fighting force in human history. how it has been shaped by those who came before. i see service members with a relentless drive for excellence, passed down by mentors who push them to be their best. i see hunger to learn from the past so they can win the war of the future. i hear their stories upon whose
2:17 pm
shoulders they stand, role models who inspire them to join a proud tradition of professionalism and devotion to democracy. that same professionalism keeps our satellites soaring through space and our submarines plunging under the ocean area is lifted up a hundred 20 4000 people to safety and afghanistan. it is behind the logistical operation to rush urgently needed security assistance to the defenders of ukraine. that devotion gives life to the commitments we make to our
2:18 pm
allies and to our promises to the american people that we will always protect this country. we will always defend this democracy. these are just words. these are bows. we can make them real because of the long unbroken tradition of sacrifice that joins those who served to those who serve now, and those who will step up in the years to come. for that, we owe our veterans not only our deepest gratitude, but also, our unwavering commitment to the democratic values that you have been so proud to defend. thank you to all of our veterans or answering your country's call. we will never forget what you have given us. may god bless all of those who have served and all who still
2:19 pm
serve. may god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. as always, secretary hagel. thank you for your commitment to the veterans here today and around the country. let me direct your attention to the representatives of several of our nations leading veteran service organizations. i would ask them to come forward at this time for the re-flame. these veterans have served to join our tradition of laying wreaths at the vietnam veterans
2:20 pm
memorial in honor of the fallen. while they get into position, let me share some highlights of the memorial fund. the founders of the wall. in 2001, we sent out an effort to gather photographs of every photograph on the wall. we successfully met that milestone. so every name on the wall as a photograph. [applause] the photographs were collected by a small army of volunteers. they scoured full newspapers to make sure each man and woman honored on the wall and a corresponding photograph. we recognize -- recognize those who served, and all of the faces now have walls -- nations well. while they are being laid, you will hear chris jackson play
2:21 pm
amazing grace. this will close with a playing of taps by a staff sergeant from the u.s. army band. now, we will start delaying. the national park service. the vietnam veterans memorial fund. and the vietnam women's desk. ♪ the national park service, vietnam veterans memorial fund. vietnam women's memorial easter national. american gold star mothers. gold star wives of america.
2:22 pm
disabled american veterans. first cavalry division association. paralyzed veterans of america. seventh cavalry association. the military order of purple heart. 8:00 to 9:00 ptsd class. vietnam veterans of america and associates.
2:23 pm
vietnam veterans of america chapter 1008. jewish war veterans. caisson veterans. gold star children of vietnam. searchlight association. america al division. 28 infantry regiment association. black lion.
2:24 pm
the u.s. army ocs alumni association. vietnam veterans memorial volunteers. the american legion families. veterans of foreign wars of the united states. fox force recon platoon. the veterans advisory board. bedford county veterans.
2:25 pm
and all other organizations here with us today. we ask that you stand if you're able for the playing of taps. please remain standing as our guests depart. ♪
2:26 pm
>> you are dismissed. lisa gentlemen, that concludes our ceremony. thank you for coming. it is a fantastic crowd, today.
2:27 pm
2:28 pm
>> outgoing liz cheney will talk about her work in the u.s. house and the future of the publican party. hosted by the university of chicago institute all ethics, are like coverage begins at 30 on c-span and on our free mobile video app, c-span now, or online at >> a looat the governor's race is in the 2022 midterm electis. late last night, the associated pressecred the winner of the oregon government race. she will replace kate brown. she is now one of two women,
2:29 pm
along with maura healey in massachusetts who will become the country'first openly lesbian governors. thengovernors race, katie hobbs has a 27,000 vote lead republican kari lake. about 82% of the votes have been counted in the grand canyo state. the u.s. senate and the governor races have yet to be called. you can follow the numbers as they change by goingr website. >> see spanish or unfiltered view of government, funded by these television companies, and more, including comcast. >> you think this is just a committee center? no. it is more than that. comcast is partnering with a thousand community centers to create wi-fi so students from low income families can get the tools they need to be ready for everything. >> comcast support c-span is a public service, along with these
2:30 pm
other dividers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. question them -- >> president biden is in egypt to talk about the negative impacts of climate change and how the u.s. is investing in solution.
2:31 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on