Sep 202004
 
Authors: Lauren Mattingly

Sixty hours.

That’s how long it took to read the 58,219 names from the

traveling Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Experience last weekend in

an effort to commemorate the soldiers who died during the Vietnam

War or are still missing.

The traveling Vietnam Wall memorial was at the Resthaven Funeral

Home, 100 E. County Road 30, to honor Americans who have served in

U.S. military forces

The display is a replication of the Vietnam Wall memorial in

Washington, D.C., and is three-fourths the size of the authentic

wall.

Mark Hendricksen, general manager of Resthaven Funeral Home and

Crematory Service Memorial Gardens, requested to have the wall come

to town. The wall travels around the country thanks to sponsorships

and came to Fort Collins by funding provided by the funeral home.

Hendricksen requested to have the wall in hopes of helping those

who were affected by the Vietnam War.

“It is timely that we offer the community this opportunity to

recognize those who served in the war, and those who lost their

lives in the line of duty just a few months after the World War II

Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., and during a time when

many soldiers are still overseas defending our freedom,”

Hendricksen said.

The ceremony opened Friday morning with American flags, the

national anthem, prayers and a F-16 flyover. Twenty-one white doves

were released to signify peace.

A tent displayed veteran John “Fribley” Hosier Jr.’s

photographs, illustrations and war paraphernalia that he collected

over the years. He used this memorabilia to relay the experiences,

truth and emotions felt in Vietnam.

The average age of men and women whose names are inscripted on

the wall is 19 years old. Hosier warned people that when they are

young, they might think they can save the world.

“People should realize that this war (Iraq) is different,”

Hosier said. “Men in their 30s and 40s are being drafted.

Regardless of age, war affects both civilians and troops for the

rest of their lives. It scars the nation.”

It can be a typical day to turn on the TV or open the newspaper

and see another bomb went off, another trooper fell in service or

an innocent civilian was murdered, Hosier said.

While the Vietnam War may not have directly affected many CSU

students, the war in Iraq may have more of an effect. Nate Miller,

a sophomore construction major, served time in Iraq as a convoy

security officer in April. He paid his respects to fellow

servicemen and women by going to the Vietnam Wall memorial.

“There are a lot of people that take for granted what our

service men and women have done in the past and today,” Miller

said.

He felt that almost 95 percent of the troopers in Iraq agreed

with the cause.

“I knew the whole time I was supported by my family and friends

back home. I was probably mailed 40 to 50 letters but only received

two while I was overseas,” Miller said.

Hosier remembered receiving a letter while in Vietnam from a

stranger.

It read: “Thank you for serving our nation. Thank you for giving

me a safe place to live. I am proud of you as my fellow American

citizen.”

As American citizens, showing support for past, present and

future military servicees can be rewarding and life altering,

Hosier said.

“The important thing that the public understands is it doesn’t

matter if a guy’s a cook, jet fighter flier, medical trainee or

photographer, his life is in danger,” Hosier said.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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