Vietnam Memorial Wreath LayingMonday, March 23, 2020 1:12 pm
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison and Maj. Gen. Kendall W. Penn, The Adjutant General, Arkansas National Guard, redner honors as taps is played after laying a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial today at the Capitol. The memorial has all the known Vietnam Veterans from Arkansas Killed in Action in the Vietnam War.
PHOTO BY RANDALL LEE PHOTOGRAPHER OFFICE OF GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON
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Text of speech given after the Wreath Laying
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Vietnam Memorial Wreath Laying
March 23 Vietnam Memorial, Southeast Corner Capitol Lawn
Thank you Sergeant Major. Thank you General Penn. Thank you veterans service organizations that have been so supportive of this. I also want to express appreciation to Chairman Singleton and the Arkansas Veterans Commission.
Some people thought, “Well, maybe we should cancel this ceremony in light of the current circumstances and the crisis we face as a nation with COVID-19. I said, “No. I think it would be an appropriate way to express our memory, our appreciation for those who served during the Vietnam war.
I consider it an honor to participate in the annual laying of this wreath.
The war ended 45 years ago.
But we know that for those who lost a loved one in Vietnam, the war never really ends.
So we unite in thanking their families for their sacrifice.
The Vietnam War upended the country. But we navigated the anger and sorrow to emerge a better people.
Today, we all are aware that a war of a different sort has turned our nation on its head. Not our nation only, but the entire world.
We are fighting an invisible enemy that will require our nation to pull together if we are to defeat it quickly.
But that’s what Americans and Arkansans do.
- We can honor the spirit of those we remember here by uniting in this new war.
- By putting the good of others ahead of our own comfort and sometimes, our safety.
- I am grateful for the people who have risen to our defense regardless of the enemy and the risk, particularly our health care workers who are on the front lines of this new battle.
- I stand in awe of this Army that stands to protect us.
- Thank you for allowing me to join you in memory of these Arkansans who died in Vietnam and to reflect on the current struggle that we face as a nation and over which we will prevail.
- God bless.
Vietnam Veteran Wreath Laying
At the Arkansas Vietnam Veteran Memorial
March 23, 2020
Master of Ceremonies
Command Sergeant Major Steven Veazey
Senior Enlisted Leader, Arkansas National Guard
The Honorable Asa Hutchison
Governor of the State of Arkansas
Major General Kendall W. Penn
The Adjutant General, Arkansas National Guard
Bugler Sgt. David Hixon Arkansas National Guard
Governor Asa Hutchinson