Veterans' Day, 1999

Washington, DC

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November 10, 1999

Veterans Day, 1999 (A)

Veterans Day, 1999 (B)

Helmet of an Unknown American

This helmet was found in Central Vietnam by members of the United States Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (USA-CILHI) and given to Louis Block by Sgt. Dan Seymour, F-Team, USA-CILHI to be left at the 'Wall' in Washington, DC. The MIA Search Team was unable to identify the helmet's owner.

Speech at The WALL Washington, DC
Veterans Day 11/11/99
I would like to thank Sgt. Dan Seymour for giving DQS this steal pot and helmet liner to be left here at the Wall. I thank all members of the search teams still working in Southeast Asia for the recovery of our fallen brothers. Thank you for volunteering for this special duty, we at DQS appreciate your labors and your understanding of our need for closure.

Today is the last Veterans Day in this last decade of the 20th century. I have been a Veteran now for more than thirty years and we still have not located all of our fallen comrades left behind in that place we called Nam . I do not know if we will ever have a full accounting. Therefore, we would like to dedicate this plaque, provided by Joe Belardo, to our fallen and missing brothers in arms. May you be at peace!

Now we enter a new millennium, a time filled with new technologies and new beginnings. However, we should not forget those still suffering from the past. We should not forget the mothers and fathers who sacrificed their child. We should not forget our brothers still suffering with their wounds of war. We should not forget our homeless brothers that walk the streets of America nightly with no place to go. And we should not forget the families of veterans that are still waiting for our brothers to break through that Wall called PTSD created during our war experience.

We must never forget that we veterans have made America a truly great land of liberty. America is a land where freedom comes at a heavy cost a cost that we veterans know all too well. Many of us Veterans have been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained while we offered freedom to oppressed peoples. Some of those people now live in America. Today they are free because we veterans answered our Country's call to arms. For many of us non-professional soldiers, this was the ultimate extreme sacrifice. We left family and friends to help a people we did not even know in a land we never even heard of. We did our duty. That is what makes America strong, that there are people like you and me willing to do our duty.

Let us enter this millennium with a renewed sense of duty. A duty to live peaceably with all men. Overcoming evil with good knowing that our American system, although not perfect, is the best system civilized mankind has come up with over these past centuries. Let our duty be that of fearing God, not fearing what some other Country will do or say. Let us enter this millennium with a duty to remain one Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. Thank you Gentlemen for your service and sacrifice. God Bless America!

Copyright: November 8, 1999 by Louis J. Block, in Portland, Oregon, USA

Photos provided by:

Louis Block (C-1/44 '67-'68)

Bruce Geiger (A-1/44 '67-'68)