Vietnam Veterans honored at Alabama National Cemetery

Published 1:27 pm Thursday, March 30, 2023

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Vietnam war veterans were recently recognized for their service during the Vietnam War Veterans Commemoration Ceremony at the Alabama National Cemetery.

The event was held at Committal Shelter 3 on Wednesday, March 29 at 10 a.m. in honor of Nation Vietnam War Veterans Day.

“As the daughter of a Vietnam era veteran, I am proud to say that today’s program is a tribute to all who served in Vietnam and features one representative story of the great American heroes who valiantly served during the Vietnam War,” Emcee Emma Noble said. “The Alabama National Cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of our nations heroes, including over 6000 Vietnam veterans. This cemetery serves as a lasting tribute to the military service and sacrifice of those willing to lay down their lives for our freedom.”

During the ceremony, veteran members of the Military Order of the Purple heart Birmingham chapter 2202 were recognized as well as Goldstar family members of Vietnam veterans.

“In recent years our country has come a long way in showing Vietnam veterans the respect that they deserve,” Noble said. “For the last few years, Vietnam veterans have been recognized here at the cemetery with the recognition that they answered the call and bravely served and were called upon by their country.”

Bobby Horton and Andy Meginniss, members of the Alabama Bluegrass Hall of Fame group, Three on a String, performed a musical tribute to the Vietnam War era for those in attendance.

“We’re so honored to be here,” Meginniss said. “We do appreciate your service and sacrifice. These are some songs that you might have heard when you were over there.”

The first Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony at the Alabama National Cemetery was held in 2019. Since then, it has been a traditional part of the ceremony for the support committee to include Vietnam veterans and their stories as part of the ceremony, Noble said.

“Holding this ceremony, I think is a really important thing to continue to show we recognize the (veterans’) sacrifice especially considering the political climate when Vietnam ended,” Noble said. “The veterans just weren’t recognized the way they should have been. I think it’s really important that we continue to do this.”

The sons of the American Revolution Color Guard led a Musket Salute during the event and were followed by “Taps” and a moment of silence led by Jim Quakenbush of Bugles Across America Alabama.

“Before we conclude today, let us take a moment to remember all of the brave Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice—those who have suffered and those who continue to suffer from the silent wounds of war,” Noble said. “It is incumbent upon us to keep their legacy alive.”