Letters to the Editor

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VIETNAM: ‘Mourning soldier’ addition is appropriate

Letter by Kenneth V. Benesh, Colton, Calif. on Oct. 9, 2011 at 10:45 am | 18 Comments »
October 9, 2011 10:46 am

Re: “Should Olympia’s Vietnam memorial include Vietnamese soldiers?” (TNT, 9-29).

I understand the feelings of Hal Lymus and those who share his view of the proposed “Mourning Soldier” addition to the Olympia memorial. I too lost friends. My brother lost friends. I have had to put the remains of dead GIs into body bags.

I know many former ARVN soldiers, their families and friends who left the Republic of Vietnam to come to the U.S. I have talked with and listened to their now-grown children who share even if they cannot fully comprehend what their parents feel. For all intents and purposes, they lost their country as well as comrades-in-arms, friends and family. I cannot begin to imagine what that feels like.

Yes, you built your memorial to honor and mourn your fellow citizens who died or remain MIA in Vietnam. But you must not forget that others honor and mourn them as well. Is it too much to ask that you share a little of your space with them?

(Benesh is a retired Air Force chief master sergeant.)

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