WASHINGTON D.C., May 27, 2020 – First, I would like to thank the city of Arlington and Washington D.C. for their accommodations in helping AMVETS create a small, social-distant observance this past Memorial Day Weekend. I’d also like to thank all who rode in D.C. and showed respect and consideration to residents of the District, making for a peaceful demonstration ride and weekend.
Unfortunately, that respect and consideration was not reciprocated by all. I was shocked and disappointed to hear that a group of Vietnam War veterans, who traveled from Ohio to pay respects at our nation’s capital, fell victim to vandalism. As I’ve come to learn, the vandal beat their bikes with a hammer while the veterans were, shortly after visiting the Vietnam War Memorial, resting and preparing for their trip home.
The vandal has not only damaged motorcycles, but also a somber Memorial Day experience these veterans earned. One heinous act diminished a weekend of remembering and reflecting.
When our veterans returned home from Vietnam decades ago, they were confronted with hostility and disdain by a nation that had sent them to war. Never before had American heroes been treated in such a way, and we vowed to never do so again. However, nearly 60 years later, Vietnam-era veterans are been failed by numerous Americans they took an oath to defend, on a national holiday in commemoration to their fallen brothers and sisters no less.
While I recognize these individuals do not represent our society as a whole, I ask that Americans remain respectful of the less than one percent who sacrifice for this country (especially those who gave their lives for it) and remain ever-vigilant of those who choose not to.
Tom McNamara, National Riders President, AMVETS
Contact: Miles Migliara, National Communications Manager
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