To The Editor:
Open letter to the citizens of Washington —
As a Vietnam veteran I was very proud to be a citizen of this city today. I was at The Moving Wall memorial all morning and was moved by the respect the visiting students displayed toward this somber and imposing memorial.
I was told by the escorts that the students noticed the special symbols that were on the Wall and wanted to know what they meant. These symbols are a diamond if they were killed in action, a cross if they were missing in action and their remains were not found, or a circle with a cross in the center to show that they were missing in action and later found alive.
This last option was possible because some of them were held as prisoners of war by Russia and China and were kept long after the war had ended. They were used as political pawns and were released in exchange for the United States releasing their spies in an exchange of prisoners.
I don’t know if their teacher or the students themselves researched these symbols beforehand or if they just noticed them as they were looking at the Wall. Either way, it was an awesome tribute to the men and women who gave all in this conflict.
Later in the day I was proud to be in the Honor Guard that led the homecoming parade for the Blue Jays.
I have led many parades with my fellow veterans, but I had a little more bounce to my steps this day because of what I saw and heard of the reverence and knowledge displayed by the students.