Yorktown dedicates Vietnam veterans memorial (Video)
May 28, 2012 at 12:28 a.m.
"I consider these hallowed grounds."
Yorktown Mayor Rene Hernandez did not hesitate to make that declaration following the dedication ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Monument in Yorktown.
A wreath was laid at the monument during the ceremony in honor of the 12 men from DeWitt County who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.
Guest speaker, retired Army Col. Allen Flory also praised the dozen who died from DeWitt.
"I am pleased to help honor the 12 DeWitt County men who made the ultimate sacrifice," said Flory, who served in as a medevac pilot in Vietnam before ending his career more than 20 years later as director of support for the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
"The fact that they were willing to do so is the most honorable thing any man or woman could possibly do.
"I am sure that if there are any family members here today that although you have missed them for many years, but you can be very proud of them," said Flory.
Flory, whose military credentials also include work in the Pentagon with the Department of the Army Inspector General Agency, also said it's past time to give Vietnam veterans their due respect.
"We served. We did what our country asked us to do. We served honorably," said Flory, who added that he didn't begin to heal from his time in Vietnam until he first saw the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. almost 20 years later. "That's also when I decided I would apologize to no man for my service in Vietnam.
"As you know a lot of us after we came home were not welcomed quite like our GIs are today. And thank goodness that has changed tremendously and our GIs, both men and women, are honored in every way possible."
Flory ended his remarks, saying, "God bless those 12 men and their families. God bless and keep safe our men and women who in harm's way as we speak here today. And God bless the United States of America."
Flory placed the wreath at the base of the monument as a 21-gun salute resounded from members of the DeWitt County Vietnam Veterans of America Yorktown Chapter 1029 that hosted the event.
The dedication of the monument culminates a more than two-year project by the chapter.
The memorial includes nine aluminum flag poles displaying the American, Texas, Vietnam, MIA, Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force and Coast Guard flags that are illuminated at night.
Twelve white crosses 4-feet tall honor the DeWitt veterans who lost their lives in Vietnam.
A black granite cross honors all who lost their lives while serving in the war. An 8-foot black granite plaque honors the more than 500 DeWitt residents that also served during the war.
The plaques are mounted in a white rock base below a Huey UH-B helicopter.
The ceremony included the singing of the national anthem and "God Bless America" by Krista Remmers Morgan.