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Letter: Politics had no place at Vietnam Wall ceremony

It was good to see the traveling Wall in Bemidji. For those of us who served in Vietnam, it helps to spend a moment or two with old comrades who now live on the Wall. One tries to remember the good times that were shared with those who never made...

It was good to see the traveling Wall in Bemidji. For those of us who served in Vietnam, it helps to spend a moment or two with old comrades who now live on the Wall. One tries to remember the good times that were shared with those who never made it home. There are two on the Wall who I served with while in the 1st Calvary Division.

I had the honor to be a member of one of the American Legion honor guards who attended the ceremony April 5. There were many there like me who had friends and comrades who live on the Wall. I imagine for them as it is for me that time spent, at the Wall, is a sacred moment in life and should never be lessened. The Wall is a monument to all who died in the land so far away from home. Tears are shed, memories brought back in the moment of time, and dim remembrances of faces appear behind the name etched in black.

The ceremony started out well but then it became tainted and I was ashamed to be a part of it. The Wall is about those who died in Vietnam and politics have no part of it. I was a combat medic in Nam. Believe it when I say that all people bleed red, no matter their race, creed, color or religion. One certain speaker had no right or purpose to expound upon his political feelings. Can someone please explain to me and those 58,193 who lost their lives over there, what in creation has Wounded Knee and the long overdue awarding of a Congressional Medal of Honor to a Korean War hero have to do with their sacrifice? There are places for political forums, but the Wall is not one of them.

Shame on you, sir, for lessening their sacrifices because you felt it necessary to point out your race and the injustices they were dealt in the past. You owe every person in attendance Saturday morning an apology and an apology to all the families whose loved ones are on the Wall that is so sacred.

Chuck Kinler

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Shevlin

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