Memorial Dedication Remarks
By Brian M. O’Neill
Below is the portion of the memorial dedication ceremony where Brian M. O’Neill gave special recognition to the men of battalion who died in Vietnam. This recognition was followed by his reading the name of each man whose name appeared on the memorial monument.
Here, for all those passing by to see, in the company of memorials marking other sacrifices, we old friends and comrades gather to honor and remember our fallen brothers. These twenty seven will forever live in our hearts.
They came from every corner of our country - from our cities, our towns, our villages, our farms. Some were volunteers. Others were drafted into the service of their country.
All faithfully served. All were loyal to their comrades.
Some were young, taken in the bright morning of their lives. Never to see the future. Never to have a family. Never to watch their children grow. They will be forever young.
Others were older, respected professional soldiers struck down before they could enjoy the fruits of their arduous lives. Never to know the honor and respect given to those who had honorably served their country.
There were many reasons why they served. A desire to serve their country, a need to experience new adventures, a wish to test themselves. These were some of the things that caused them to be in an exotic land far from home and family.
Their deaths, as much as their service were mocked by some but appreciated by many.
Some lost their lives in dangerous situations. Others fell when all seemed quiet and peaceful. Some quickly died, spared pain. Others lingered, enduring intense suffering. In common, all gave that most precious thing, their lives.
All were denied the promises and possibilities of life.
They were and are still missed by family and friends. Their deaths leave heartaches that can never heal. Remembrance and honoring them gives a memory no one can steal. They must be remembered not only mourned. They must be remembered as they were in life.
Within sight of the flag under which they bravely served and in solemn remembrance, their names are here forever inscribed.
This monument is dedicated in humble tribute to their lasting memory.
Brian M. O'Neill